The crown jewel of the Kraft family business, the New England Patriots franchise, just endured its worst season in the last two decades, but the percentage value of its Kraft Group owners grew more than any other top sports enterprise around the globe last year, according to Forbes’s latest list.
In a year in which revenues plunged in nearly every industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kraft family’s holdings jumped 7 percent, or $800 million, from 2019, to a current enterprise value (equity plus net debt) of $5.3 billion.
The Krafts moved up one spot, to seventh place on Forbes’s 2020 list.
Forbes calculated the value of the Patriots as increasing by $300 million, or 7 percent. Other contributing factors to the Kraft Group’s growth came from investments in Boston-based sports betting company DraftKings and the Skillz gaming platform. Combined, those investments are valued in excess of $400 million, according to Forbes.
The family also owns the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer, sports data analytics firm Kraft Analytics Group, and the esports franchise Boston Uprising, as well as a small share of UFC.
Fenway Sports Group, majority owner of the Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club, plus 50 percent of Roush Fenway Racing and 80 percent of NESN, saw its value stay flat at $6.6 billion. FSG’s position on the Forbes list dropped by one, to fourth, ahead of fifth-place Yankees Global Enterprises and sixth-place Madison Square Garden Sports (New York Knicks and Rangers).
John Henry, principal owner of FSG, owns the Boston Globe.
Because Forbes changed its accounting methodology to include passive ownership, there is a new No. 1: Liberty Media, whose primary holdings in the Atlanta Braves and Formula One racing give it a $13 billion value, well ahead of No. 2 Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche) at $8.73 billion and No. 3 Jerry Jones (primary holding: Dallas Cowboys) at $6.98 million.
Rounding out the Top 10 are:
- No. 8: Glazer Family (Manchester United, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), $5.25 billion.
- No. 9: Paul G. Allen Trust (Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Sounders), $5.03 billion.
- No. 10: City Football Group (Manchester City, New York City FC, and Melbourne City FC), $4.82 billion.