Jonathan Kraft is the President of The Kraft Group, based in Foxborough, Mass. The Kraft Group is the holding company of the Kraft family's many businesses, with interests concentrated in six areas: manufacturing of paper and packaging, international distribution of forest products, sports and entertainment, real estate development, private equity investing and philanthropy.
In its sports and entertainment division, The Kraft Group's holdings include the four-time conference champion New England Revolution and the three-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, as well as Gillette Stadium, the world-class venue that both franchises call home. Kraft oversees the operation of all three sports entities.
As an Investor/Operator of the New England Revolution, Kraft has guided the organization from its infancy to its present position as one of the most successful and respected teams in Major League Soccer. In 1995, Kraft was involved in securing the Revolution as one of Major League Soccer's founding clubs and was principally responsible for bringing the MLS's inaugural championship game to New England in 1996. Since then, the Krafts have hosted two more MLS Cup championship games in Foxborough, including the 2002 final between the Revolution and the Los Angeles Galaxy, which was played in front of the largest crowd in MLS Cup history.
As the President of the Patriots, Kraft has been the day-to-day driving force behind the rebuilding and rebranding of the franchise since 1994, bringing long-overdue stability to the once wayward organization. It has been a remarkable transformation, as the Patriots have evolved from worst to first in many categories, both on and off the field. Over the past 18 seasons, the Patriots have won more games (212) than any other franchise, including more Super Bowls (3) and conference championships (6). The Patriots also own two of the NFL’s longest consecutive win streaks, winning 21 straight (including playoffs) over two seasons (2003-04) and 10 consecutive victories in the playoffs.
In 1999, Kraft developed the creative private-financing strategy to gain approval for the construction of Gillette Stadium. Throughout the stadium initiative, no one was more involved in each phase of the project, including the planning, construction, opening and on-going operation and development of Gillette Stadium. Kraft worked closely with stadium designers to create a world-class sports and entertainment facility that would highlight features indigenous to New England. His team delivered on the promise of a fan-friendly facility, on time and under budget.
Kraft and the project team also drew praise for innovative environmental practices. In June of 2001, the Environmental Business Council presented The Kraft Group with the Environmental Award for Corporate Leadership. In May of 2002, The Kraft Group received New England's Environmental Merit Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the development and construction of Gillette Stadium.
On May 11, 2002, the Krafts opened Gillette Stadium, now known as one of the world's premier sports and entertainment facilities, with a match between the New England Revolution and the Dallas Burn. One week later, the U.S. Men's National Team made its first appearance at Gillette Stadium. On Oct. 20, 2002, MLS Cup returned to Foxborough for the third time in seven years, with the Revolution vying for the league's top honors in front of an MLS Cup record crowd of 61,316 fans.
A Williams College graduate, Kraft also earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Children's Hospital Trust and Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. He is also currently serving as a member of the Overseers' Committee to Visit Harvard Business School and as a member of the board of trustees at Massachusetts General Hospital, Williams College and the Belmont Hill School.
Kraft is active in youth athletics, coaching Pop Warner football, youth soccer and Little League baseball in the greater Boston area. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Warner Award, named after Glenn S. "Pop" Warner. The award is presented annually and is considered Pop Warner's highest honor.
Kraft and his wife, Patti, have three children.