Arizona athletes

Gronkowski’s Visa TV ad adds to commercials featuring famous Arizona Wildcats

A good measure of Rob Gronkowski being the most famous Arizona Wildcats athlete is not only by his stature as the best tight end to play in the NFL.

Those funny commercials are the clincher. The fun-loving, throw-caution-to-the-wind Gronk image sells nationwide. The abundance of television ads show he is a household name that transcends football.

The Visa ad that incorporates Gronkowski’s brother, Dan, a former NFL tight end, is an example of how Gronk has made it big far from the football field. Dan wore his brother’s jersey in the Boston area and was treated like a star by the fooled fans because of Dan’s resemblance of his brother.

As Dan lies in a bunk bed — yes, a bunk bed with Rob sleeping above — he shops more of his brother’s jerseys with VISA Checkout on his phone. Rob interrupts him and asks his brother to turn out the light.

That’s just one of the many hilarious ads Gronkowski has performed nationally and regionally (in the Boston area). The commercials prompted me to research the most memorable television ads involving Arizona greats. Below are some of them. Check back often because more are sure to come.


Gronk was part of the star-studded Nike “Snow Day” ad from five months ago.

A twerking Gronk sells JetBlue, official airlines of the New England Patriots

Gronk and David “Big Papi” Ortiz ads for Dunkin’ Donuts are a big hit in the New England area.

“It’s a love song … about iced coffee …”

Gronk and Big Papi turning it up

Gronk in Snuggies … we’ve seen everything …

Gronk doing, ahem, grown up stuff …

His return from a serious injury three years ago was highlighted by this Body Armor ad (in which he wears his Arizona practice jersey).

Football is family ad for the NFL

Starring as Half Top (with the football-shooting contraption) in the Madden Movie last year.

Of course, a big-time athlete has to be in an ESPN commercial.

Gronk with some fantasy football advice.

Teaming with T-Mobile.

This ad shows Gronk’s brothers, including former Arizona fullback Chris Gronkowski.


Gilbert Arenas’ Adidas “Impossible is Nothing” ad from nine years ago.

“If I’m going to play 0 minutes than I’m going to Arizona and just fight for it. No one believes in me anyway.” — Arenas

Another Arenas Adidas ad with him going to the playground.

Arenas and Kevin Durant in the NBA Live 08 EA Sports commercial.

Tracy McGrady and Arenas team up in this Adidas ad.

He had his own line of Adidas shoes called the Gil-Zeros.

Arenas in a memorable TNT NBA commercial

Arenas with Vince Young in a Spalding commercial

Remember those “I love this game” commercials?


Arizona legend and WNBA champ Adia Barnes, the recently-hired Arizona women’s basketball coach, talks about Comcast’s Internet Essentials program in a 2012 ad.


Mike Bibby in a “I love this game” commercial for the NBA when he starred with Sacramento.

An NBA playoffs TV spot with Bibby sharing a split screen with Paul Pierce.

Another NBA ad with Bibby focusing on the playoffs “where amazing happens” …


Papa Gino’s Pizza ads. Papa Gino’s is based in the New England area.

Hane’s T-shirts. A look at Bruschi’s softer side … You got a problem with that?


Sean Elliott takes his broadcasting to the extreme announcing a wedding in a Fox Sports Southwest commercial.

Now we know of Elliott’s music preference, listening to the Village People’s “YMCA” song in a San Antonio-area YMCA ad


Olympia Sports ad featuring Arizona softball great Jennie Finch, who prompts a guy by the end of the commercial to say, “I wish I could throw like a girl.”

Who remembers this 2006 Gatorade ad with Finch along with Dwayne Wade, Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning?

In a 2009 Dermabond commercial:


Nick Foles tries to go incognito as a server during some fantasy football drafts in this Courtyard Marriott commercial.


Former Arizona golfer Jim Furyk uses a “Sky Caddy?” In this commercial, he does …

Furyk saying Aleve takes the pain away …


Chip Hale, an Arizona baseball star, appeared in a series of Oakland A’s commercials when he was on the coaching staff there before landing the Arizona Diamondbacks managerial job.


Andre Iguodala makes a young fan think constantly about their high-five moment in an NBA ad.

What about the 1995-96 Bulls vs. the 2015-16 Warriors, Iguodala?

Iguodala and a Warriors fan in an ice bath

Iggy in one of those corny ESPN NBA commercials.

Iguodala has a good reason to believe now with the Warriors.

Chief Blocka …

Iguodala and Russell Westbrook playing some one-on-one NBA 2K11.

NBA Store ad with Iguodala with plenty of Golden State fan reinforcement.

Some more of the “Where Amazing Happens” commercials for NBA

“I wish I could throw it down like Andre Iguodala …”


Richard Jefferson takes on Vince Carter in a dunk-off in a Nike commercial.

Jefferson takes on Shawn Marion in a Foot Locker commercial.


This one brings back memories — Nike ad with Kenny Lofton in a super human speed anonymous group, talking about what being fast can do for him …

“I’m Kenny and I’m not that fast …”


Steve Kerr and his wife Margo Kerr in a 1997 commercial about the “Kids and Family” logo placed on acceptable family viewing shows on television.


The ageless Jason Terry in this Reebok commercial.


Luke Walton and Carmelo Anthony have a unique way of spending the offseason in this ESPN ad.


An Under Armour television ad with Derrick Williams detailing his rise to the NBA from obscurity.


And, of course, those old popular Bank One Lute OlsonBill Frieder television ads publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.


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