San Francisco, CA – February 2, 2016 – In an effort to promote early financial learning, San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley, 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert and 2016 NFL Hall of Fame finalist Kurt Warner, helped kick-off Super Bowl 50 Week today by taking off their pads to play a different kind of football–Financial Football–with Bay Area students. Staley, Gabbert and Warner were joined by longtime partner of the program, California State Controller Betty Yee, San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros and executives from San Francisco based Wells Fargo and Visa. Financial Football is a fast-paced, interactive, NFL themed personal finance video game that uses the rules of football to challenge students' knowledge about finances.
"It has long been my mission to strengthen financial fitness among Californians, and I appreciate the opportunity to reach out in ways that resonate with young people," said State Controller Yee. "With resources like Financial Football, we are not only teaching students how to budget, we are helping them develop the skills to tackle life's challenges. Financial Football is a valuable program and a great partnership between my team, Visa, and the NFL."
As California's chief fiscal officer, Betty Yee is committed to improving financial fitness in individuals as well as the state as a whole.
Excitement was in the air at the Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco as students from Thurgood Marshall High School competed against students from Lincoln High School to see who could score more financial touchdowns by correctly answering money-based questions. Before the high-energy game, State Controller Yee, Warner, Treasurer Cisneros, Staley and Gabbert all shared personal stories with the students on the importance of learning the basics of how to budget, save and invest at an early age.
Financial Football is the foundation of Visa's nationwide financial education initiative with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS. In 2007 Visa, with the help of Yee serving as State Board of Equalization Chairwoman, launched the statewide rollout of Financial Football, distributing free copies of the game to every public high school in California. Today, Controller Yee and Treasurer Cisneros are working together to showcase the successful program as well as renew and expand the program to a new generation of students on a state and local level.
"It is important to set a good financial foundation when you are young because making poor financial decisions early in life can haunt you for a lifetime," said Treasurer Cisneros. "Financial Football is an excellent way to get students here in San Francisco and across the state excited about budgeting and saving, and so I am excited to partner with the NFL, Visa, Wells Fargo and the State Controller's office to ensure that students are off to a good start."
The State of California and the City of San Francisco are committed to helping youth achieve financial empowerment. Treasurer Cisneros started San Francisco's Office of Financial Empowerment which runs programs like Bank On San Francisco, the Kindergarten to College (K2C) program, which helps every child open a savings account with an initial deposit from the City and County of $50, and Smart Money Coaching, which provides one-on-one financial coaching to City residents. Cisneros was also appointed by President Obama to the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans where he served along with Visa CEO Charles Scharf and others.
Visa has also partnered with Wells Fargo to promote broader access to financial education.
"Wells Fargo has been an early and strong leader in promoting financial education, and we are excited to be partners with Visa and our state in promoting critical programs like Financial Football," said Darlene Goins, Senior Vice President and Head of Hands on Banking®, Wells Fargo's free, non-commercial financial education program. "Available in English and Spanish, Hands on Banking is an ideal way for kids, teens and adults to learn the basics of money management, including budgeting, saving, investing, and borrowing responsibly."
"When I was growing up, we didn't have classes or programs to educate us about the importance of money," said San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert. "I am glad to be here today to help students in our community understand the kinds of skills they will need to build a strong financial future for themselves and hopefully their families."
"Financial Football is a great tool because it demonstrates how you can use sports to teach valuable life lessons off the field," said Joe Staley, San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle appearing in his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl.
"It doesn't matter if you are a professional athlete or a student with a part-time job, the same financial lessons apply when it comes to learning how to manage money," said former NFL great and 2016 NFL Hall of Fame finalist Kurt Warner. "I know learning about finances isn't always fun, but it is critical. I hope that by teaching fiscal lessons in fun ways, like Financial Football, it will help kids get and stay engaged."
"At Visa we believe that the best path toward achieving a bright financial future for both students and consumers is through public and private partnerships. We are most effective spreading the message of sound personal finance when we work together," said Hugh Norton, Head of U.S. Financial Education, Visa Inc. "We are proud to join with Controller Yee, Treasurer Cisneros, Wells Fargo and the NFL, because we have the same shared goal of improving the financial literacy of all Californians. When that happens, everybody wins."
Financial Football is accompanied by a classroom curriculum and has been distributed to high schools and middle schools in 47 states including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia since Financial Football's launch in 2006.
The game is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com) a free, comprehensive financial literacy program available in 10 languages and 30 countries. Visa also runs What's My Score (www.whatsmyscore.org), a leading higher education consumer awareness program.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks – VisaNet – that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa/our_business.html, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.
About Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,700 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 30 on Fortune's 2015 rankings of America's largest corporations. Wells Fargo's vision is to satisfy our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.