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Rob Gronkowski joins bros in Harvard Business School lecture

Suzanne O'Halloran

Harvard Business School, which has turned out captains of industry including Jamie Dimon, Stephen Schwarzman, Bill Ackman and Sheryl Sandberg, has tapped Rob Gronkowski and his brothers to help school the next generation of leaders.

The retired New England Patriot tight end, affectionately known as "Gronk" and famous for his spiking of the ball on the field, is now earning notoriety for his growing empire of businesses, as well as those of his siblings.

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Earlier this week, the clan presented at Harvard Business School.

"Proud to be invited to speak about our family businesses & companies at Harvard Business School," Gronk said on his Instagram account, which featured brothers Gordie and Chris, who also played for New England briefly.

The trio was invited to lecture for one day, as part of a week-long Direct-to-Consumer course at the school, based in Cambridge Massachusetts, by Matt Higgins, CEO and co-founder of RSEVentures, a private investment firm focusing on sports, food and entertainment. Stephen Ross, CEO of Related Companies, is the other co-founder.

Harvard faculty and longtime business executive Len Schlesinger oversees the course.

Higgins, who is also an Executive Fellow at HBS, a presenter on "Shark Tank" and vice-chair of the Miami Dolphins, tells FOX Business inviting the brothers was a no-brainer.

"They've done a lot of interesting things post-NFL in assembling a mini-empire," he said, noting their "insane level of discipline."

In terms of advising the students on building a business, Higgins said the family stressed "the importance of not compromising who you are" and being "authentic."

Chris Gronkowski developed steel ice-shakers, which were peddled on Shark Tank, and Gordie, the eldest brother, oversees the Gronk Fitness brand and Gronk Nation, which helps keep the legions of Gronk fans going.

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Gronk's specific business ventures include 'The Rob Gronkowski Store' on Amazon, teeth-whitening tool Snow and the Fitplan app.

He also serves as a commentator for Fox Sports and the network's NFL coverage. Fox Sports is an arm of Fox Corp., the parent of FOX Busines and Fox News.

Gronk has endorsed other brands including Dunkin Donuts and Tide during his time in New England.

More recently, he inked a deal with Abacus Health Products, maker of CBD items, which Gronk says has helped him manage pain from his playing days. The three-time Super Bowl Champ, who retired last year before the 2019 season, told FOX Business' Stuart Varney last year that CBD "relieves his pain" and he wished he was able to use CBD during his tenure with the NFL.

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Aside from doling out business advice, the brothers led a workout for the students.

Although No. 87 is retired, he will still be participating and capitalizing on Super Bowl LIV with his Gronk Beach party in Miami, sponsored by Monster Energy, when the San Franciso 49ers  face the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Gronk is no stranger to finance. In his book, “It’s GOOD to Be GRONK”, which he co-authored with agent Jason Rosenhaus, he detailed several steps that have shaped his financial foundation since his days at the University of Arizona.

Despite being the highest-paid tight end in history when he signed a $54 million contract with the New England Patriots, he famously noted he did not spend any of that money, living instead off his marketing income.

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