Why all 5 'Shark Tank' investors were fighting over this Gronkowski brother's shaker bottle

ABC | Michael Desmond | Getty Images

The Gronkowski family loves to compete.

All five brothers have had successful careers in professional sports: Rob, Chris, Glenn and Dan played in the NFL, while Gordon played Major League Baseball. Rob, 28, famously nicknamed "The Gronk," is in the running to become the highest paid tight end in the NFL after eight seasons with the New England Patriots, with a contract that could bring him up to $10.75 million.

But when Chris Gronkowski, 30, who most recently played for the Denver Broncos, pitched his company, Ice Shaker, on ABC's "Shark Tank" on Sunday, and brought his siblings along for support, it wasn't the brothers competing — it was the sharks.

The "Shark Tank" investors, including guest judge, Alex Rodriguez, all clamored for a piece of the business, which sells insulated bottles that are an upscale version of plastic cups used to mix up protein shakes. The idea of leveraging Chris's prominent last name to brand the product had the sharks seeing dollar signs.

"Couldn't you call it the 'Gronk' Shaker?'" Judge Lori Greiner suggests, and investor Barbara Corcoran agrees. "I think it should be in big capital letters, bold raised letters, that just says 'Gronk,'" Corcoran adds.

"To Lori's point, whatever edge you can get, you've got to take," billionaire investor Mark Cuban says.

To win over Gronkowski, Kevin O'Learly says, "I'm a huge 'Gronk' fan. I love your family."

Greiner made a case that she was the right shark to tackle marketing the product, ticking off a list of her top investments on the show, now bringing in millions: "Scrub Daddy, $120 million. Simply Fit Board, $150 million. Sleep Styler, $75 million in four months."

Cuban responded with his own track record. "I've taken multiple companies to multi-billion dollar valuations," he says on the show. "How many have you done, Lori?"

Corcoran pointed to her own abilities to create a brand. "Nobody is smarter than me at marketing, and I've done it with already seven of my top brands that wouldn't be where they are from 'Shark Tank' if not for my marketing ability," she argues on the show.

Guest judge and MLB star Rodriguez touted his connections in the pro-sports world from a lengthy career with the New York Yankees. "I love the backstory, I own part of 1,000 gyms in 20 countries, I understand athletes," he explains. Rodriguez suggested pairing up with Cuban, who is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team. Together, the pair offered $150,000 for a 20 percent stake in the business.

Gronkowski came on the show seeking $100,000 for 10 percent stake in Ice Shaker. He first had the idea for the business when he noticed that his cabinet full of plastic shaker bottles had problems: they leaked, didn't stay cold and started to smell bad from use. So, he created his stainless steel version. In its first six months, the business sold about $80,000 worth of shakers, selling online, through Amazon and a few retailers. The shakers retail for $25.

For Gronkowski, "Shark Tank" was about finding a business partner instead of just a loan.

"I don't exactly need the money, if I needed just $100,000 I could probably call someone I know, and he would probably give it to me," Gronkowski says, shooting a glance at his famous brother Rob. "But I need the expertise."

With all of the offers on the table, Gronkowski was able to negotiate down Cuban and Rodriguez, landing on a deal for $150,000 for a 15 percent stake, valuing the company at the original $1 million Gronkowski wanted.


"We just locked up the trifecta, the NFL, NBA and baseball, that is absolutely huge, and I am so pumped right now," Gronkowski says.

Don't miss: Why Barbara Corcoran invested $50,000 in a new kind of fidget spinner on 'Shark Tank'

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Disclaimer: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."

How 3 guys went from call center cubicles to 'Shark Tank' and $7 million in sales in just 3 years
How 3 guys went from call center cubicles to 'Shark Tank' and $7 million in sales in just 3 years