Ever since it looked like the National Football League would lock out players at the start of the 2011 season in September, Scott Milleisen has been helping several teams prepare for the worst. Mindful that the NFL has a cap of $150 million in secured debt per club, Milleisen, new head of the sports finance group at JP­Morgan Chase & Co., is working with his clients to set up term loans or credit lines so they can meet payments and cover potential losses.

“We are setting up a contingency plan in case a stoppage is prolonged,” explains the former college football star.

Since his promotion in June, Milleisen, 35, hasn’t been afraid to carry the ball. He replaces Richard Walden, who was named head of U.S. credit risk for JPMorgan’s private bank. Part of the private bank, the five-member sports group gives advice and financing to high-net-worth individuals and sports teams throughout North America; its clients include 30 teams and owners.