Many NFL players, like Tom Brady and Jason Pierre-Paul, travel internationally during their summer break. Others plan a staycation with family or otherwise lay low. Then there’s Rob Gronkowski, who parties like there’s no tomorrow.
It’s not how most coaches would prefer their players spend the five or so weeks between the end of minicamp and the beginning of training camp, but Gronkowski, as everyone knows, loves to publicly live it up in his spare time. Perhaps no one in the NFL has done a better job of developing a brand than the Patriots tight end, which is why the NFL Players Association, during its Rookie Premiere last month, encouraged rookies to be more like Gronk in marketing and selling themselves.
Gronkowski’s weekend night out at the Shrine Nightclub at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut included 20 friends who ran up a $100,000 tab, according to TMZ Sports. The $102,407 bill TMZ posted included 160 bottles of champagne.
You can say it’s “Gronk being Gronk.” The NFLPA says, “That’s his brand.”
“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar, president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA, said last month, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental; it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”