The NFL has announced a groundbreaking initiative aimed at promoting diversity and economic opportunities. The league has secured a $78 million loan from 16 Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and minority- and women-focused banks. These funds will be utilized to foster business growth and expand opportunities for diverse enterprises across the United States. Bank of America played a crucial role in identifying these financial institutions, which are known for investing in diverse individuals, businesses, and communities.
By establishing relationships with these diverse financial institutions, the NFL aims to provide economic opportunities that are often only available to larger financial organizations. This strategic move will fuel growth and investment within the communities they serve and increase these institutions’ visibility and reach.
“The NFL is thoroughly committed to improving diversity across all aspects of the League, and that includes doing business with diverse suppliers and partners,” said Joe Siclare, Executive Vice President of Finance and League Policy at the NFL. “We are excited that this program, will help enhance the reach of these institutions while investing in the local communities that they serve.”
The league worked closely with Bank of America to design a three-year term loan facility that not only offers financial returns in the form of interest but also opens doors for future collaborations between the NFL, its clubs, and the partnering banks.
“The NFL consulted with Bank of America to establish this opportunity for diverse financial institutions,” said Elliott McCabe, Managing Director of Bank of America’s Sports Finance & Advisory Group. “We share a commitment to advancing diversity & inclusion and economic opportunity, and through this effort we will help provide these institutions with new opportunities to engage with the League and the local Clubs in their communities.”
To ensure the success of this initiative, the NFL and Bank of America sought guidance from the National Black Bank Foundation (NBBF), an esteemed organization known for providing legal, regulatory, and operational support services to Black-owned banks. The NBBF’s expertise has been invaluable in advancing the NFL’s commitment to diversity and social justice.
“Minority-focused banks, and especially Black-owned or operated banks, are trusted community partners that are more important now than ever given the challenges we are seeing across the country in banking,” said Ashley Bell, co-founder of National Black Bank Foundation. “The NFL’s decision to look for solutions beyond Wall Street and to the centers of hope along Main Street and MLK Jr. Drives will move the needle as others follow their lead.”
Through this visionary initiative, the NFL is championing economic inclusivity and fostering partnerships empowering diverse enterprises and communities nationwide. By collaborating with these financial institutions, the league is taking tangible steps toward a more equitable and prosperous future.
The Minority Depository Institutions, Community Development Financial Institutions, and minority and women-focused lenders that the NFL is partnering with include:
- Adelphi Bank – Columbus, OH (MDI, Black or African American owned)
- Agility Bank, N.A. – Houston, TX (MDI, Women-owned and led)
- Asian Bank – Philadelphia, PA (MDI and CDFI, Asian or Pacific Islander American owned)
- Central Bank of Kansas City – Kansas City, MO (CDFI)
- Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company – Nashville, TN (MDI and CDFI, Black or African American owned)
- Citizens Trust Bank – Atlanta, GA (MDI and CDFI, Black or African American owned)
- City First Bank, National Association – Washington D.C. (MDI and CDFI, Board is majority African American)
- First Independence Bank – Detroit, MI (MDI and CDFI, Black or African American owned)
- FWBank, an Illinois Banking Institution – Chicago, IL (Women-owned, women-led and women-focused)
- Industrial Bank – Washington D.C. (MDI and CDFI, Black or African American owned)
- Mechanics and Farmers Bank – Durham, NC (MDI and CDFI, Black or African American owned)
- Optus Bank – Columbia, SC (MDI and CDFI, Black or African American owned)
- Ponce Bank – The Bronx, NY (MDI and CDFI, Board majority is Hispanic American)
- Southern Bancorp Bank – Arkadelphia, AR (CDFI)
- Texas National Bank – Mercedes, TX (MDI and CDFI, Hispanic American owned)
- Unity National Bank of Houston – Houston, TX (MDI, Black or African American owned)
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