In brief

  • Gronk play football.
  • Gronk party hard.
  • Gronk mint NFTs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski has proven pretty adept at crafting a very specific image (touchdowns; ball-spiking; partying on boats; Boston), and lending that image to a range of big brands including Nike, Tide, Dunkin' Donuts, DraftKings, and Monster Energy.

Now, he's turning his image toward NFTs with a collection of digital trading cards.

NFT is short for non-fungible tokens, unique digital assets that can take the form of artwork, music videos, trading cards, and other collectibles, verifiably scarce because they are one of a limited batch on blockchain.

The five-time Pro Bowler's NFT collection was crafted by Brazilian artist Black Madre, who previously created retro soccer cards for the Brazilian national team for Nike.

Rob Gronkowski's NFT collection.

Five NFT cards are being minted: one for each of his four Super Bowl wins, plus a "Career Highlight Refractor Card" commemorating all four. Each card bears Gronkowski's signature. With the exception of the highlight card, which is limited to one single edition, there are 87 editions of each card.

Why 87? It's his uniform number.

“With the rapid success of NFTs across platforms like NBA Top Shot and OpenSea, I wanted to take the business into my own hands and be the first professional athlete to launch my own NFT collection," Gronkowski said in a press release. "Now fans will be able to get a piece of the action and share these iconic Super Bowl moments with me in this all new digital format with my Championship Series NFT.”

Gronkowski's NFTs will be auctioned on GRONKNFT.com in partnership with OpenSea Drops, a program OpenSea launched in February for creators. This is already the third sale through OpenSea Drops; the first two were from Kings of Leon and Shawn Mendes.

Gronkowski is the first pro athlete to launch a primary NFT sale on OpenSea, according to cofounder and CTO Alex Atallah. And Gronk's NFTs are "the first I've seen with animated signatures," Atallah says. "His team has put a lot of thought into the design and feel of the cards, and we're excited to work with them."

The auction starts March 11 at 7 pm Eastern and will run for 48 hours.