Rivalry with the New England Patriots Brings Unexpected Gratitude

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Spotlight on New England Patriots

Mention the New England Patriots to a New Yorker and you’re guaranteed to receive a charged reaction. No rivalry is as much about being a Bostonian or New Yorker as it is about being a team partisan. Now, during the coronavirus, one thing is certain—even the most passionate Giants fan will never again look at the New England Patriots, the rivalry or the Kraft family in the same way.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Patriots President Johnathan Kraft purchased 1.4 million N95 face masks for the state of Massachusetts and decided to add an additional 300,000 for New York—an act inspired by Governor Cuomo’s leadership and the desire to help a hard-hit city that lacked the needed resources. Using the team’s private jet, Kraft arranged to pick up the masks from China and transport them back to Boston. Apart from their financial generosity, imagine the regulatory hurdles the Krafts faced, the political partnerships and teamwork they needed to leverage, and the logistics and planning required to pull this off in the middle of a global pandemic. “In today’s world,” Robert Kraft told the Wall Street Journal, “those of us who are fortunate to make a difference have a significant responsibility to do so with all the assets we have available to us.”

This spirit of generosity is no secret to Boston. Robert Kraft and the Kraft family have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to local, national and global philanthropic causes to support education, community health programs across Massachusetts, causes that combat antisemitism, and programs that support criminal justice reform and help at-risk youth, among many others. (What is also no secret are the recent legal headlines surrounding Kraft, which are troubling and serious, and certainly complicate the narrative.)

The next time we New Yorkers see the Patriots take the field on game day, or watch a player interview, or respond when asked about the rivalry, we will think about the team differently than in the past.  The rivalry will never go away, but we’ll see a team owned by a family with a sense of duty to serve those who are in need—something that has made a big difference to New York.

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Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.

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