Regions Financial (RF) is taking its marketing in Nashville to new heights.

The $119.7 billion bank has hired a helicopter to hoist two Regions signs 359 feet to the top of its new headquarters in Middle Tennessee.

Work is scheduled to begin at 6:30 a.m. local time Sunday, weather permitting. The signs are 47 1/2 feet wide, and a few hours will pass between each lift.

LP Field, the home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans, will serve as the staging area. The signs will be attached to brackets mounted on the building and plugged into a powerful electrical connection. There they will add sparkle to a downtown that includes the neon lights of country-western bars along lower Broadway.

"It's a big deal when the biggest bank in town is doing a move like this," Jim Schmitz, Regions' president for Middle Tennessee, says. "We are going to do a Mother's Day breakfast at a nearby building with families and watch the helicopter fly in."

In November Regions announced plans to occupy 100,000 square feet of office space in the 25-story tower, which locals have dubbed the "R2-D2 building" for its resemblance to the beloved "Star Wars" droid.

For nearly 40 years, the company has leased space in a building dubbed the Regions Center a half mile away. About 250 of Regions' 1,200 personnel in middle Tennessee will occupy the new headquarters when the move ends this June. The rest work at 92 branches and an operations center in the state's central section.

The Birmingham, Ala., company and its predecessors have operated in Nashville for about 130 years, Schmitz says. It has been in its current location long enough to amass many paper records. "We've uncovered so many historical documents, books and photographs," says Schmitz, who added that Regions plans to donate some of the material to libraries.

Schmitz also plans to gather some employees to meet with a local historian who can teach them about the bank's long role in the area. "We're trying to pay homage to those who came before us in this bank," Schmitz says. "They include a lot of great bankers and people who have done a lot of significant things for Nashville."

With its new signs, Regions will try to outdo a previous banking tenant of the building, U.S. Bancorp (USB). "The U.S. Bank signs were 30 feet wide," Schmitz notes.

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