Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, known as much for his partying off the field as his play on it, will launch his own YouTube channel on Tuesday, Sportico has learned.
He will star in videos, alongside his brothers, Gordie Jr., Dan, Chris and Glenn, on a channel that will be called—shockingly—“The Gronks.”
The Human Media Group, an influencer management company based out of Tampa, is the channel’s manager, and OneTeam Partners, the joint venture of the NFLPA, MLBPA and RedBird Capital, will handle marketing, sponsorship and branded content.
“It’s long overdue for the bros and me to launch our own YouTube channel,” said Rob in a statement, “and to give viewers an inside look at how we like to work, play and most importantly, have fun.”
The deal is another example of athletes, particularly high-profile ones, attempting to take control of their brands, images and ideas and using their popularity to create content that reaches beyond their athletic achievements. LeBron James co-founded SpringHill Entertainment with friend and business manager Maverick Carter in 2007, and the company has produced four movies and more than a dozen television shows. Tom Brady announced in March the creation of 199 Productions, which will develop original content like television shows, documentaries and films.
“For us, we want to find athletes with interesting stories to tell,” Brent Stehlik, the president of OneTeam Partners, said to Sportico. “We want to highlight those stories, and Rob and his brothers are some of those really interesting people with great stories. I think this is the first of deals like this one for us.”
The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic presents one issue for this and other ventures like it, particularly as it relates to someone like Gronkowski, a personality known for his extracurricular clubbing activity. Part of his brand is not just being outsized but being out and about.
“Anyone who says they know how the pandemic will impact what they do isn’t being truthful,” Stehlik said. “What I can tell you is we have a commitment to content.”
The Gronkowski brothers reach 7.2 million people across various social media platforms.