Just Fly It: Nike Unveils High-Tech Team Plane For Pro Athletes


Nike wants to create a high-tech training facility in the sky (Photo: Nike/Teague)

You think you’re uncomfortable on airplanes? Imagine being a 6’4”, 310-pound NFL lineman.

Nike is teaming up with Seattle-based design firm Teague to come up with a more player-friendly way for professional sports teams to fly their athletes to away games.


NBA players could easily stretch out in the super-sized sleeping areas (Photo: Nike/Teague)

In a proposal titled “Home Advantage at 40,000 Feet,” Nike and Teague unveiled plans for a high-tech plane specifically equipped to reduce the negative physical effects of flying for elite athletes.

Related: 16 Urban Legends About Flying … Busted!

The plane includes: data centers that analyze each athlete’s physiological state; a snack bar; a massage area; individual chambers where athletes can undergo cold and compression treatments; and even lie-flat seats that can accommodate athletes up to 7 feet tall.


This recovery station includes ice and compression sleeves. And you can elevate each leg (Photo: Nike/Teague)

The plane may be far-fetched but the reasoning behind it certainly is not. Nike and Teague cite one study that showed Major League Baseball teams lose 60% of the games for which they cross three zones. And another study says athletes’ motor-functions are diminished after a cross-country flight, and stay that way for one day per each time zone crossed.


This sleek massage room enables athletes to get mid-flight rundowns (Photo: Nike/Teague)

“Crowded game schedules and travel by flight is a fact of life for professional athletes,” Nike and Teague say in their proposal. “But it is one that comes at a price: injuries and suboptimal performance.”

Related: The Future of Airplanes Could Be a Windowless Jet

Missing from the proposal is how much these high-tech team planes would cost. But considering the hundreds of millions of dollars professional sports teams invest in their players, it’s easy to imagine teams shelling out major bucks to fly their athletes in style — especially if it helps them win more games.

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