In January 1994, Boston business magnate and lifelong football fan Robert Kraft bought a struggling NFL franchise and turn it into arguably the greatest dynasty the sport has ever seen. Kraft, who already owned the team’s stadium at that point, invested a then-record $172 million to buy the New England Patriots from James Orthwein Busch.
The deal did not only turn out great for the team and the region — which kept its pro football franchise instead of seeing it leave to become the St. Louis Stallions — it also turned out well for Kraft. His investment has paid considerable dividends over the last 25+ years. As the Patriots became more successful on the field, they did the same off it.
Now, they are one of the most valuable franchises in all of sports. According to Forbes Magazine, the Patriots are currently worth $4.4 billion, or, putting inflation into consideration, 14 times what Kraft paid for the team back in 1994.
That $4.4 billion valuation is 7 percent more than last year, and has allowed the team to keep the number two spot in the NFL behind only the Dallas Cowboys’ $5.7 billion — most among all sports franchises in the world. The Patriots, meanwhile, are ranked eighth on the global list including all sports.
It is not hard to see why. New England is the most successful NFL franchise of the 21st century, which contributed to the team’s steady rise in popularity and value over the last two decades. The team’s six Super Bowl wins also coincide with the league exploring new markets both abroad and via using the internet. All those factors on and off the field, inside and outside the NFL, have contributed to the team’s ever growing value.
According to Forbes, that value can be broken down as follows:
- Sport (i.e. value attributable to revenue shared among all NFL teams): 50.3%
- Market (i.e. value attributable to its city and market size): 19.7%
- Stadium (i.e. value attributable to Gillette Stadium): 19%
- Brand (i.e. value attributable to the Patriots brand): 11.1%
All those things together make for the organization’s combined value of $4.4 billion, clearly above the league-wide average of $3.1 billion.
The full list of values across the NFL looks as follows:
- Dallas Cowboys: $5.7 billion
- New England Patriots: $4.4 billion
- New York Giants: $4.3 billion
- Los Angeles Rams: $4 billion
- San Francisco 49ers: $3.8 billion
- New York Jets: $3.6 billion
- Chicago Bears: $3.5 billion
- Washington Football Team: $3.5 billion
- Philadelphia Eagles: $3.4 billion
- Houston Texans: $3.3 billion
- Denver Broncos: $3.2 billion
- Las Vegas Raiders: $3.1 billion
- Seattle Seahawks: $3.1 billion
- Green Bay Packers: $3.1 billion
- Pittsburgh Steelers: $3 billion
- Baltimore Ravens: $3 billion
- Minnesota Vikings: $3 billion
- Miami Dolphins: $2.9 billion
- Atlanta Falcons: $2.9 billion
- Indianapolis Colts: $2.9 billion
- Los Angeles Chargers: $2.6 billion
- Carolina Panthers: $2.6 billion
- Kansas City Chiefs: $2.5 billion
- New Orleans Saints: $2.5 billion
- Jacksonville Jaguars: $2.5 billion
- Cleveland Browns: $2.4 billion
- Arizona Cardinals: $2.3 billion
- Tennessee Titans: $2.3 billion
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $2.3 billion
- Detroit Lions: $2.1 billion
- Buffalo Bills: $2.1 billion
- Cincinnati Bengals: $2 billion