Bangor-based Cross Insurance partners with Kraft Sports Group, is now official broker of Patriots

Gillette Stadium workers rake the field in January 2004.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Gillette Stadium workers rake the field in January 2004. Buy Photo
By Andrew Neff, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 06, 2012, at 1:10 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — What started with a small insurance policy relationship about four years ago has led to an agreement making Bangor-based Cross Insurance the official insurance broker of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium and the New England Revolution soccer team.

“We’ve been working with the Krafts now for a few years. It started with a small relationship and getting to know one another,” said Jonathan Cross, executive vice president of Cross Insurance. “As they’ve gotten to know us, they’ve been giving us more and more responsibility and business.”

The Kraft Sports Group and Cross Insurance, a subsidiary of Cross Financial Corp. in Bangor, announced their new partnership Monday.

“They enjoy doing business with family businesses and they’re a large organization with a variety of investments, but they’re still a family business themselves,” Cross said of the Kraft Sports Group. “We’re a large insurance business that does business locally and nationally, but we’re still a family business.”

Cross said the agreement was a multi-year deal, but he would not disclose exactly how many years it covered or what its total monetary value is. The deal calls for Cross Insurance to have a “visible presence” at Gillette Stadium during National Football League and Major League Soccer seasons. That is in addition to exposure in other Patriots, Gillette and Revolution publications, promotions and TV or radio productions.

“We’re going to have some in-stadium signage and advertising opportunities with their various print materials and Internet, television and radio, as well as at Patriot Place,” Cross said.

Patriot Place is a combination mall and entertainment facility adjoining Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Cross has been a family-owned business since Woodrow Cross began the agency back in 1954.

“We are proud to be partnering with Cross Insurance, a business built by three generations of the Cross family, with strong New England ties and solid business relationships,” Murray Kohl, vice president of Kraft Sports Group, said in a press release Monday. “We look forward to working with the Cross family and continuing to build on our relationship with Cross Insurance.”

Cross said the agreement was built on a proven track record with a fellow family business.

“They like our model and the way we do business,” Cross said of the Kraft Sports Group.

Cross made no secret of the fact that he has been a Patriots fan for almost his entire life.

“We’re all fans. I’ve been a football fan since I played in junior high and high school,” said Cross. “So to get an opportunity to see my grandfather’s name beside a brand like the Patriots is hugely rewarding.”

Cross said his grandfather, who still works regularly at the Bangor agency headquarters at the age of 95, is excited about the deal.

“He’s definitely liking it,” Cross said. “They have never met personally, but Mr. [Robert] Kraft has sent him a couple of gifts over the years and they’ve exchanged notes. The Krafts even sent him a Tom Brady-autographed football when he was in the hospital” once.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/06/business/bangor-based-cross-insurance-partners-with-kraft-sports-group-is-now-official-broker-of-patriots/ printed on October 2, 2014