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FIRST UNION AND NATIONSBANK STOCK RISING IN SPORTS FINANCING
Published April 23, 1996
First Union and NationsBank are quickly becoming "pivotal players" in the sports finance arena, according to the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Erik Spanberg writes the Hornets and Panthers helped "pave the way" for the banks' entry into the market, and First Union and NationsBank now have national reputations. NationsBank Senior VP Jim Nash, head of the bank's Sports Finance Division, says sports provides a high-profile platform for the bank in local communities. First Union spokesperson Marianna Sheridan said sports finance became a natural expansion area as the value of teams and franchises grew. She notes there are so many teams in markets First Union serves, "it's hard to ignore, particularly because it's a successful and profitable business." First Union and NationsBank both have finance divisions dedicated to sports, and Hornets President Spencer Stolpen says the two banks -- along with Fleet National Bank, Bank of America, Chemical Banking Corp. and Citicorp -- are consistently mentioned in industry circles as the leading banks in funding teams and facilities. Overall, First Union has made about $470M in sports financing commitments and has just under $200M in sports loans on record. NationsBank "refuses" to disclose its commitments (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/22 issue).