How G-P is helping the New England Patriots go global in a year for the history books
Sometimes, the stars align. Sometimes, you are in a moment. Sometimes, it really is about changing the game.
This Sunday, as a capacity crowd of over 65,000 football-starved super fans starts to trickle back into Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, for the first game of the 104th NFL season, it will be one of those rare days when a new era begins.
As they wind their way to their seats and glance toward the field below, they’ll be greeted by the striking new G-P Atrium, which graces the entire width of the north endzone. The G-P Atrium – a 50,000 square-foot sports entertainment experience like no other in the NFL – has been described as a luxury indoor tailgate for up to 1,200 fans, with two balconies overlooking the field, gourmet food and drink, and a wall of windows facing the Patriot Place shopping area just beyond the stadium. But this is more than just sponsorship for G-P.
As they settle into their seats, talk will inevitably turn towards the New England Patriots’ season ahead, with one special game to be played in Frankfurt, Germany, in November. The excitement is especially high for this game, as German fans of American tackle football are every bit as raucous as their U.S. counterparts. But this is more than just an international showcase for the league.
As they read their game-day magazines or talk to neighboring seatmates , they may even learn that the Kraft Sports and Entertainment (KSE) have added their very first Germany-based member to their staff, working for them in Frankfurt. But this is more than just another hire for KSE and G-P.
This is the start of something new. And that’s what makes the partnership between the Patriots and G-P so special.
In 2022, the league kicked off its new Global Markets Program, which allowed teams to bid on specific international markets to be their true second “home” market for the very first time. The Patriots won the rights to the German market, and soon after to the Austrian and Swiss markets in 2023, meaning they now have the freedom to build their brand and their fan base there.
With Germany as their official overseas home, the Patriots can now hold events, promote the team with paid media, give away tickets, support charities, engage with their community, and – most important of all – begin building a global team outside of the U.S. to manage their business operations. As the Patriots’ official global employment partner, G-P has helped them do just that.
In March of this year, they brought aboard a Business Operations Manager rather than export an executive to Germany. With extensive experience as the former General Manager of the Frankfurt Galaxy, he has brought strong, local expertise in sports management to the KSE team.
The Patriots wanted to make this crucial first international hire a truly authentic fit for their new home — to think beyond just business operations. They wanted to embrace Germany’s unique culture and passionate fan base as much as the German fans have embraced and welcomed American football into their homes.
With G-P as their global guide, the Patriots are confident they’ve found the perfect fit to start their international home story. A story they expect to keep growing and growing.
And the rest, as they say, will be history.
So as the whistle blows this weekend and the new season gets underway, take a moment to think about what a game changer this year will be for G-P, the Patriots, and the ongoing story of American football. It’s a tale of both business and passion growing beyond borders and boundaries. It’s a case study, measured in yards gained and cultures crossed, of what is possible when we build strong diverse global teams.
And, most of all, it’s a celebration of the success we can all share when we look at growth through a larger lens. In New England. In Germany. In Austria and Switzerland, too… Let’s go, Patriots! Here’s to success in our next big, game-changing chapter together.
To learn more about the G-P Atrium and our partnership with the Patriots, check out our podcast episode – “Changing the Game: How the New England Patriots are Going Global” – featuring Jen Ferron, CMO at Kraft Sports and Entertainment, and Heidi Arkinstall, CMO at G-P.