NFLPA tells newcomers to ‘Be Like Gronk’ at Rookie Premiere event

Photo from Madden NFL 17 Commerical

“Be like Gronk.” That’s the message that was conveyed at the NFL Players Association Rookie Premiere on May 18-20.

What that message actually means is that the NFLPA is encouraging the rookies to develop their own brand.

People may mistake New England Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski for being a large, crazy “frat boy,” but what he is actually really good at is building his own brand. It is even said that because of Gronk’s endorsements, appearances and branding, that he didn’t touch his NFL salary in the beginning of his career.

“Really good branding is where you don’t even feel it,” said Ahmad Nassar of the NFL Players Inc, which is a for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA, “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.”

A major theme of the Rookie Premiere weekend was "authentic branding," with the NFLPA teaching the newcomers that they have the opportunity to earn significant endorsements and lifelong relationships if they promote themselves in the right way.

“When we say, ‘Be like Gronk,’ we mean plan out who you want to be and stay true to that,” Nassar said, “Because brands and fans will sniff it out if you’re not authentic. If you’re not authentic, it’s not going to resonate well, and people will think that you’re just doing it to make a buck.”

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