FIRST UNION AND NATIONSBANK STOCK RISING IN SPORTS FINANCING
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).