Star Athletes and Their Penchant for Private Jets
PRIVATE JETS HAVE LONG BEEN the preferred mode of air travel for numerous celebrities and star athletes. While many of the highest paid sporting personalities own their own luxury planes, others get to experience the high-rolling lifestyle by chartering flights. Given their seven-figure salaries, it only makes sense that these high-profile superstars would jet-set with their friends or family for a vacation, but lately, there have been a number of instances where athletes have used private planes for some unusual reasons.
1. There’s wooing, and then there’s wooing with private jets
According to USA Today, Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban and forward Chandler Parsons attempted to woo impending NBA free agent center DeAndre Johnson to join the team from the Los Angeles Clippers. Part of the enticement came in the form of trips in a jet charter, as well as visits to fancy restaurants and exclusive clubs. Johnson, who played one year of college ball with Texas A&M, joined the Clippers in 2008. After initially agreeing to a deal with Dallas, he later backed out and resigned with LA. Still, you’ve got to give the Mavs an ‘A’ for effort.
2. There’s nothing like a little team bonding at 40,000 feetSteven Gerrard, a former star midfielder with Liverpool in the English Premier League (EPL), now with the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS, made a huge first impression with his new soccer club. Rather than fly with the boys on a regular charter to their US Open Cup match with Real Salt Lake in Utah, ESPN reports he and his new teammates secured passage on a jet owned by a few of Gerrard’s countrymen. You may have heard of them: The Rolling Stones! Apparently, Mick and the gang were taking a break from their North American Zip Code Tour, so they agreed to lend their swanky aircraft featuring their trademark ‘tongue-and-lip’ logo on the fuselage.
3. Going for a quick checkup
When Dutch soccer phenom Robin van Persie completed his transfer from the EPL’s Manchester United to the Turkish league’s Fenerbahce in early July, a few odds and ends had to be sorted out to complete the deal. One of the requirements was he first had to pass a physical checkup by his new team. It’s an understandable request given the value placed on such a prolific striker as van Persie. Rather than fly on a commercial airline or take a train, van Persie hopped on a chartered jet to make the 2,000-mile journey from Manchester Airport.