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Playing Their Hearts Out

With Valentine's Day nearing, a dating service targets the lonely athlete

Okay, sports superstars don't normally advertise in the personals. But that doesn't mean it's any easier for them, celebrity, wealth and all-star physiques notwithstanding, to find true love. Is it any surprise then, in this era of The Millionaire Matchmaker, that there's a similar service playing Cupid to the sporting elite?

Amber Kelleher-Andrews, co-owner of the California-based "personal-search" firm Kelleher International, estimates that 20% of her clients are current or former pro athletes, a roster that includes former NBA and MLB All-Stars, baseball executives and six-time Pro Bowl receiver Terrell Owens (left). These guys have no trouble getting a date for Friday night. But finding a soulmate, when groupies target athletes with the help of websites like, can be far trickier.

Kelleher's company vets candidates from a vast database, and though the service, at $25,000 to $150,000 at the "elite" level, doesn't come cheap, for many athletes it's well worth it.

"A client once told me $100,000 is nothing," Kelleher-Andrews says. "He'd just spent $4 million on his divorce."

Owens, for one, says he takes dating very seriously. "You really need to be smart with who you choose to let into your life," he says. Still, he's always open for a pass.


MSW—Single All-Pro receiver is seeking great catch for long-term romance. No gold diggers, please.