Robert Kraft named most influential team owner in sports by Sports Business Journal

Robert Kraft is the most influential team owner in sports, said the Sports Business Journal in its annual ranking of sports business leaders.

Topping a list that includes Red Sox principal owner John Henry, Hornets and NASCAR owner Michael Jordan, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Kraft was recognized by the publication for his leading role in securing the $ 110 billion in new media rights deals that the NFL landed. in spring.

“The long-time owner of the New England Patriots has been at the forefront in his efforts to sell a stake in NFL Media,” the Sports Business Journal wrote, “and a key intermediary for Fanatics founder Michael Rubin and a host of celebrities and business figures. “

Last week, the Kraft Group announced its $ 225 million renovation plan for Gillette Stadium. The choice of the stadium as the host site for the 2026 World Cup is a hope the group would like to fulfill early next year.

The construction of a new stadium for the New England Revolution in or near downtown Boston remains a key part of the Kraft Group’s plans.

Henry, President Tom Werner and President Mike Gordon of the Fenway Sports Group were honored for their $ 900 million purchase from the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins. Further, said SBJ, “In addition to chairing the MLB board of directors and serving on the league’s executive board, Henry plays what is now a particularly central role as a member of the Labor Policy Committee. . “

Red Sox owner John Henry was also on the list of influencers in the sports world after Fenway Sports Group acquired the Pittsburgh Penguins.Jim Davis / Globe staff

Henry also owns the Globe.

Other sports team owners included were Ted Leonsis, Stan Kroenke and Phil Anschutz.

Rubin has been cited as the # 1 influencer in the overall sports industry, with his apparel company expanding into a conglomerate this year linked to the areas of sports betting, media, ticketing, shopping. NFT and collectible cards.

In the “Dealmakers” category, Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital and FSG’s third shareholder after his company’s $ 750 million investment, received a mention.

For sports influencers, two new FSG partners, Lakers star LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter, as well as James Rich Paul’s agent, were praised for deals with Pepsi, his movie “Space Jam” and the growth of their SpringHill Entertainment Company.

Among the “industry leaders,” Jason Robins, CEO of Boston-based DraftKings was mentioned, with the publication saying that DraftKings, No. 2 behind FanDuel in fantasy sports betting, “could take the lead if sports betting and social media are converging, as Robins predicts.

Michael Silverman can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB.

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