Generosity is a lifestyle for Robert Kraft, owner of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots professional football team. Now in his early eighties, Kraft spends much of his time on charitable endeavors that benefit people in the New England community and around the world. The Providence Friars college basketball team from Rhode Island were the most recent group of people to benefit from Kraft’s generous nature.
Providence Friars Pull Off Stunning Victory as a Heavy Underdog
No one expected the Friars to advance in the NCAA Sweet 16 basketball tournament. They entered the tournament as a fourth-seeded team against the highly favored South Dakota State. Many fans did not give the Friars the respect they deserved, considering them lucky to be in the Sweet 16 in the first place.
The team from the largest city in tiny Rhode Island won several close games during the regular season that could have easily gone the way of their opponent. However, that was not the case with the two victories the team needed to advance to the Sweet 16. The Friars posted decisive victories in both matches.
The Providence Friars understood that they had their work cut out for them when they traveled to Chicago to play the Kansas men’s basketball team on Friday, March 25. They have long held a rivalry with the top-rated Jayhawks that intensified recently when they discovered the team’s coach skipping games in Providence.
One thing they did not have to worry about on March 25 was whether they would have support from fans and family during the game, which they narrowly lost 66 to 61. Robert Kraft made sure of that when he arranged for several people to travel to Chicago to support the team who otherwise would not have been able to make the trip.
Robert Kraft Offers the Patriots’ Private Jet to Fly Friar Fans to Chicago
Kraft sprang right into action once he heard that Providence defeated South Dakota State to advance to the Sweet 16. He invited several fans, family members of players, and staff of the Providence Friars to fly to Chicago on the same plane the New England Patriots use during the football season. The team flew on a separate charter flight. Kraft was thrilled to help more people get to Chicago to support a team that had not advanced to the Sweet 16 since 1997.
About Robert Kraft
Kraft is a Brookline, Massachusetts native who earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University in 1968. He has remained in the New England area throughout his long and successful career as the CEO of the Kraft Group. He still offers input into company transactions, but the responsibility for daily operations has fallen to three of his four sons who joined him in the business.
The New England Patriots came under the control of the Kraft Group in 1994 when Robert Kraft purchased the team. His leadership transformed the team from one that had won just 19 games in five seasons to five-time Super Bowl champions. Kraft was also instrumental in developing Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots have sold out nearly every game since the stadium opened in 2002.
The Kraft family is among one of the most charitable in the world and supports a wide range of causes and non-profits. Youth sports is just one of many things the Kraft family supports with their philanthropy, since they have seen first-hand the positive difference that participating in sports at a young age can make in people’s lives.