Slideshow Sports Executives with Banking Ties

  • September 02 2015, 7:30am EDT
12 Images Total

Banking's ties to sports stretch back for more than a century. The "father of baseball," Alexander Cartwright, worked at Union Bank of New York before he established the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club. Today, the two worlds remain incredibly close, as evidenced by these prominent individuals.

Katherine Blackburn

Blackburn is a Cincinnati Bengals executive responsible for handling contract negotiations with the team's players. Blackburn, the daughter of Bengals owner Mike Brown and the granddaughter of Cleveland Browns founder Paul Brown, was named to the board of at Fifth Third Bancorp in December.

Content Continues Below

Bob Sarver

Sarver, president and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorp, became the majority owner of the NBA's Phoenix Suns in 2004. At the time, his $401 million purchase price was an NBA record. He also owns the Phoenix Mercury with the Women's National Basketball Association.

Larry Nibbi

Nibbi, a minority owner in the San Francisco Giants baseball team, joined the board of Presidio Bank in San Francisco. He is also a member of the bank's San Mateo Advisory Board. Beyond those roles, Nibbi is the CEO of Nibbi Brothers General Contractors.

Alan Rothenberg

Rothenberg, a founder and chairman of 1st Century Bank in Los Angeles, has deep ties to sports. A member of the U.S. Soccer Federation's executive committee, he was also the commissioner of soccer for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics and chairman and CEO of the 1994 FIFA World Cup and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. Rothenberg also helped found Major League Soccer in the U.S. and has played key roles with the Los Angeles hockey and basketball franchises.

Content Continues Below

Earvin "Magic" Johnson

The basketball legend is also a partial owner of baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers, the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks and a Major League Soccer team. Johnson, who joined Square's board this summer, also worked with Bank of America and Celebrity Cards International on the now-defunct MAGICCash card and with OneWest Bank on its MAGIC card.

Philip Flynn

Associated Banc-Corp's president and CEO joined the Green Bay Packers' board last year. The football team has acted as a publicly-owned nonprofit since 1923, with the board serving as the owner of record. The board also approves capital expenditures and monitors the performance of team managers.

Eddie Meyers and Marjorie Rodgers Cheshire

Meyers, a former professional football player with the Atlanta Falcons, is PNC Bank's regional president for Georgia. He joined the Pittsburgh bank in 1999 as a senior business development officer.

PNC has yet another sports connection with Cheshire, who joined its board late last year. Cheshire, president and chief operating officer of real estate development conglomerate A&R Cos., once was a senior director of brand and consumer marketing at the NFL.

Content Continues Below

Ted Leonsis

Leonsis is the founder, chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns basketball's Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics, hockey's Washington Capitals and the Verizon Center where all three teams play. Leonsis is a director at American Express.

Dick Monfort

Monfort is a co-owner of baseball's Colorado Rockies, where he also serves as the team's managing general partner, chairman and CEO. Monfort, who is president of the Red Meats division on ConAgra Foods, joined the board of CoBiz Financial in July.

Rocky Wirtz

Wirtz is the principal owner and chairman of hockey's Chicago Blackhawks, which recently won the Stanley Cup. Wirtz also serves as president of Wirtz Corp., which owns the Blackhawks and two banks: the $222 million-asset First Security Trust and Savings Bank in Elmwood Park, Ill., and the $611 million-asset First National Bank of South Miami in Florida.

Content Continues Below

Jimmy Haslam

Haslam became the majority owner of the Cleveland Browns in 2012. Haslam, CEO of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain, has served as a director for many banks, including First Horizon National, First American National Bank of Knoxville and AmSouth Bancorp.