There's no doubt that 2021 has already treated Tampa Bay Buccaneers' tight end Rob Gronkowski well, but it's bound to get even better with summer around the corner.
Gronkowski and the Buccaneers brought a Super Bowl trophy back to Florida's west coast with a dominating win over the defending champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, in February. Then, after the team threw an epic victory parade on boats, Gronkowski got down to business. First, by following through on a goal he promised to fulfill once the season ended.
"After I won the Super Bowl, I said to myself during the season I always wanted a French bulldog after seeing them around — a couple of my friends have them and seeing a couple on the streets — I always knew I wanted a French bulldog and I just didn't know when to get one," Gronkowski tells PEOPLE of his new Frenchie, Ralphie, who has his own Instagram account.
"I told myself if I win the Super Bowl, I got to get a French bulldog," the 31-year-old adds, "and I won the Super Bowl, so I had to go through with the plans!"
After that, Gronkowski became the first athlete to auction off a set of digital trading cards, which eventually sold for more than $1 million. Gronkowski sold the cards as non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs. Even he was surprised at how successful the auction was.
"I had no expectations. I was thinking like, all right, I can bring in a little bit of money like that will be cool, like a little extra bonus," he says. "I was talking to all the NFT people and next thing you know I sell like 350 cards total and they sell for fricking $1.8 million in crypto money."
The concept of an NFT is relatively new. As Bloomberg explains, an NFT is a unique "certificate of authenticity" for virtual files and presents a new frontier in making (and spending) money.
"It was crazy," Gronkowski says of the bids that came in for the trading cards. "It blew my mind away how much it went for, but understanding all this crypto now more, it's just booming. I'm in the game now and I keep getting more interested every day, but this stuff's booming."
And now, as Bud Light's "Secretary of Summer," Gronkowski's goal is to make sure everyone else has as good of a 2021 as he has.
Bud Light recently launched the "Summer Stimmy" campaign and will be giving away up to 100,000 free tickets to sporting events this summer.
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They are also offering people age 21 and older a $3 virtual gift card to put toward purchasing a Bud Light as bars start to open up around the country following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There's going to be $10 million worth of giveaways, including up to 100,000 free sports tickets for over 70 teams in six weeks, including the MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL," Gronkowski says of the campaign.
Fans can also win trips to the 2022 Super Bowl, or one game in the 2021 World Series, 2022 WNBA Finals, 2022 Stanley Cup Finals and the 2022 NBA Finals. Soccer fans can also look forward to potentially winning a trip to a game of the 2022 NWSL Finals.
Bud Light will also be giving away free tickets to live music events, which have largely been put on hold during the pandemic. People can enter to win tickets through Bud Light's website.
"That's what the secretary of summer, here for a good time," Gronkowski says of his partnership with the company. "That's me and also Bud Light, they're here for a good time and we're giving away free prizes to everyone. It's going to be a great summer this year. It's going to be another great season next year, too."