When it comes to branding, Rob Gronkowski knows what he’s doing.
The New England Patriots tight end obviously is a star on the football field, but he’s also one off it with the way he markets himself. And that’s a lesson the NFL Players Association hopes other players will learn from, especially rookies.
The NFLPA recently held the Player Premiere in Los Angeles, where rookies received advice from former NFL players about how to build their brand. And Gronk was used as one of the top examples.
“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” NFL Players Inc. president Ahmad Nassar said, via The Boston Glove Ben Volin. “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.”
The NFLPA also used Odell Beckham Jr. and Dak Prescott as positive branding examples, and former players Michael Vick, Willie McGinest, Steve Smith, and Marcellus Wiley all spoke with the rookies.
“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar told Volin. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”
So, go forth and “Be like Gronk,” fellow NFL players. Your brand will thank you.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images