Athletes Hit the Food Business: 10 Sports Stars' Food Products
Athletes may spend most of their time on the field, but they love to eat, and over the years many of them have gotten into the business of food, creating chocolate bars, cereals, chips and salsa and more. The best part is that most of the athletes donate proceeds to charity. Some of these products are vintage and no longer sold in stores, but you might be able to hunt them down on eBay.
Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots’ tight end, loves to party. His four brothers and his father drive around in a party bus called The Gronk Bus. And we’re quite sure it’s fully stocked with boxes of Gronk Flakes — frosted corn flakes — and bottles of Gronk Hot Sauce, made with fiery cayenne and habanero peppers. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of these products benefits the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation, dedicated to inspiring and supporting youth to reach their maximum potential by empowering them to be positively involved in sports, community activities, education and fitness.
Miguel "Miggy" Cabrera is the Triple Crown-winning first baseman for the Detroit Tigers whose line of salsa is almost as popular as he is. This two-time MVP, four-time batting champ and 10-time All-Star from Venezuela launched Miggy’s Salsa and promptly sold 10,500 jars in its first full week of retail sales, according to its manufacturer. A portion of sales goes to The Miguel Cabrera Foundation, whose mission is "to undertake youth development programs and community ballpark makeovers, and establish home base youth leadership academies in the United States and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean."
Alex Ovechkin’s Mr. Big Bar
Known as Ovie, Alex Ovechkin is a Russian hockey star for the Washington Capitals. A prolific goal scorer, he has won three Hart trophies as the MVP and apparently enjoys dating Russian tennis players and models. Ovie’s Mr. Big candy bar, true to its name, is the largest chocolate bar produced by Cadbury. The bar is made of a long, layered vanilla wafer, coated in caramel, peanuts and rice crisps, and covered in a chocolate coating. A real sweetie!
Four-time NBA champion, former MVP and 15-time All Star Shaquille O’Neal has moonlighted as a rap artist, actor and police officer. He’s also released a line of cream sodas, produced by AriZona Beverages. Flavors include blueberry, strawberry, vanilla and orange in 23.5-ounce cans. The sodas, each featuring a different Shaq facial expression, can be found only at 7-Eleven stores, where they sell for 99 cents.
Maria Sharapova’s Sugarpova
You may know that Maria Sharapova is a five-time Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1 women’s tennis player who has also been featured as a model and spokeswoman. But you probably didn’t know she grew up a candy lover with a surprising sweet tooth. To honor her love of sweets, Sharapova created Sugarpova, a premium line of pretty and delicious candies, including gummies, gumballs and brightly colored candy towers. A portion of sales from the Sugarpova collection is donated to the Maria Sharapova Foundation, committed to helping children around the world achieve their dreams.
Big Papi’s Kitchen
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, the Red Sox’s David Ortiz — better known as Big Papi — was raised on the fresh, flavorful tastes of Latin cuisine. With Big Papi’s Kitchen, Ortiz has created a line of Latin-inspired foods, including hot sauce, fresh salsa, snack sticks and chicken sausage, with more on the way. A portion of profits benefits the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, raising funds that give children in the Dominican Republic and the Northeastern United States access to the critical pediatric care they need to live full, productive lives.
Dale Jr. Potato Chips
The driver of the number 88 car has won the Daytona 500 twice and is the son of racing great Dale Earnhardt Sr. Dale Jr. is one of the most-popular racers in NASCAR and has a lucrative endorsement career, including a partnership with KLN Family Brands to form Dale Jr. Foods. KLN Family Brands and Dale Jr. Foods offer four savory flavors of potato chips: Crispy Original, Carolina Barbecue, Creole & Green Onion and Zesty Jalapeno.
Harmon Killebrew Root Beer
This slugger for the Minnesota Twins was an American League MVP and 13-time All-Star, and led the league in home runs six times. Known as “The Killer” and “Hammerin’ Harmon,” he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984. His Killebrew Root Beer and Cream Soda are nearly as famous. The frosty-mug sodas have been locally brewed from pure natural spring water flavored with real Minnesota honey since 1996.
Jaromir Jagr Peanut Butter
If you love hockey and peanut butter, you’ll want to get your hands on a jar of Jagr Creamy Peanut Butter, named for this Czech hockey star who made his mark with the Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990s. Currently playing for the Florida Panthers, Jagr has one Hart MVP trophy and is a 12-time All-Star.
Ryan Miller’s Kick Save Crunch
U.S. Olympic hero goaltender Ryan Miller made his mark with the Buffalo Sabres and now plays for the Vancouver Canucks. In the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, he was named the MVP for leading the U.S. to a silver medal. His breakfast cereal, Kick Save Crunch, is a honey-nut bonanza. Partial proceeds benefit The Steadfast Foundation, a nonprofit that Miller started to help children and their families affected by cancer.