Anchorage, AK – July 14, 2015 - –Alaska Governor Bill Walker joined the NFL’s 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year Thomas Davis, Seattle Seahawks All Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, and Visa Inc. in Anchorage today to announce a statewide effort to improve the money-management skills of Alaska’s youth with Financial Football. Developed by the NFL and Visa Inc., Financial Football is a free educational video game and classroom curriculum that will teach Alaska’s youth about improving their money-management skills. The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development will distribute the game to nonprofit organizations, middle schools, and high schools across the state.
Governor Walker kicked off this financial literacy campaign at the Covenant House in Anchorage with help from Carolina Panthers linebacker Davis, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Wagner, Commissioner Michael Hanley, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, and Visa. They led two teams of teens in a hard-fought, high-energy game of Financial Football. The centerpiece of a nationwide educational initiative with Visa, the NFL, and the NFL Players Association, Financial Football helps students and adults tackle their financial futures.
“Building financial literacy is absolutely critical if we are going to ensure that our children succeed as adults,” said Governor Walker. “Financial Football communicates these important concepts in a way that resonates with young people, and helps them build a successful financial future.”
“Understanding how to manage and budget money is a life skill that is necessary for all of our graduates. It is important for our students to recognize the significance of their personal finances and spending decisions,” said Mike Hanley, Commissioner of Education and Early Development. “I thank Visa for creating an engaging tool for students to use.”
“Alaska USA is a strong believer in promoting financial education and helping teenagers understand the importance of making good financial decisions,” said Dan McCue, Senior Vice President of Corporate Administration for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. “By learning concepts from a program like Financial Football such as how to set a budget, how to save for the future, and even how investments, and credit work, students can develop financial management skills that will last a lifetime. Alaska USA is proud to work with Visa, Commissioner Hanley, and with Governor Walker to support this program.”
At the event, Davis, named Pro Football Focus All-Pro in 2013 and an Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2011, and Wagner, rated one of the top 100 players in the NFL in 2015, and a 2014 Pro Bowler, shared their own personal experiences on growing up in challenging environments and on the importance of good financial decision-making with the kids at Covenant House.
“Kids need to learn to make smart money-management decisions early in life,” said Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. “It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers, and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance.”
“It doesn’t matter whether you make minimum wage or millions,” said Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. “If you don’t learn to budget, save, invest, and pay bills on time, the consequences can be devastating.”
Available online at www.alaska.financialfootball.com, Financial Football puts students’ fiscal knowledge to the test in an online simulation game environment by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. Visa has also released the game as a free Android or iOS app.
“Visa believes the most effective way to advance financial education is to have both government and the private sector working together to teach students and consumers about the importance of developing sound money-management skills,” said Nat Sillin, Head of U.S. financial education, Visa Inc. “We are proud to partner with Governor Walker, Alaska Education and Early Development Commissioner Hanley and Alaska USA Federal Credit Union to help strengthen the financial literacy skills of all Alaskans,” Sillin added.
This launch is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL, and the NFL Players Association, now in its 7th season. Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with 47 states and the District of Columbia to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those 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 Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Financial Football is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com) a free, award-winning financial education program that reaches millions of people around the world each year. Launched in 1995, the program is now available in 10 languages in 30 countries. At Practical Money Skills for Life, educators, parents, and students can access free educational resources including personal finance articles, games, lesson plans, and more. 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 56,000 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 https://usa.visa.com/about-visa.html, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.