BOSTON -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and offensive tackle Matt Light took part in BTIG LLC's 10th annual Commissions for Charity day on Wednesday, which raises funds for more than 300 children charities from profits on equity, fixed income, and derivative trading.
Visiting the trading desk at BTIG's Boston office on State St. on Wednesday morning, Gronkowski and Light quickly jumped into the market action, working the phones with BTIG's clients on mock stock trades, including Gronkowski 'buying' 200,000 shares of Patriot Coal and Light doing a 'deal' for a million shares of Patriot Transportation Holding.
The charity event was led over live audio feed by CNBC's Jim Cramer, with numerous New York sports personalities, including Jets head coach Rex Ryan and Giants quarterback Eli Manning, taking part in the trading from BTIG's New York trading desk.
"I think the traditional model of fundraising is usually an event or something wrapped around a gathering of people," Light said, later half-joking that Patriots owner Robert Kraft should consider a similar event with ticket sales. "This is kind of unique, because it's doing what they do in their normal, day-to-day operations, but instead of realizing a return on their hard work, their return is going to foundations all across the country, which is kind of a neat concept."
Light said that former Patriots punter Lee Johnson, who was in New England from 1999 to 2001, "literally had a trading desk in the back of the locker room. The guy knew what every stock had done, was going to do, how it was going to move. He traded non-stop. I always thought, man, I couldn't be like that. That's why you hire really good people that actually do that stuff, day in and day out."
"It's cool that they're sitting down with you, one-on-one, and they're teaching you about it," Gronkowski said. "Actually being here, actually seeing it, you have to be hands-on to learn most about it. I'm learning more right now than I have in a couple classes at school."