Salinas, CA – November 9, 2010 – Tackling the problem of financial illiteracy among teenagers head-on, Visa Inc. and San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Alex Smith and Linebacker Patrick Willis today launched an effort to improve the money management skills of students at North Salinas High School by introducing "Financial Football" – an interactive money management video game with an NFL theme.
The centerpiece of Visa's nationwide educational initiative with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, "Financial Football" helps students tackle their financial futures. This free, newly reinvented video game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum. As part of this initiative, Visa Inc. has also donated two Apple Macbooks to North Salinas High School.
"Kids need to learn how to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Smith. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance."
"Financial Football is a great way to get students interested in personal finances and give them a financial playbook they can use the rest of their lives," said Willis.
Youth financial illiteracy is a serious and growing problem. According to a survey by Visa Inc., 93% of Americans believe all high school students should be required to take a class in financial education.
Available online, at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/football, "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 also released the game as a free iPhone app on iTunes, along with an optimized HD iPad version.
This launch is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, now in its sixth season. Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with twenty-nine states to distribute "Financial Football" to every high school in those states, including California. The other states are Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
"For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to continue our efforts to strengthen financial education," said Jason Alderman, Senior Director of Financial Education, Visa Inc.
"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 ten languages in thirty 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. The website guides college students through the ABC's of a FICO credit score, from factors that can lower a score to ways on improving it, at no charge.
About Visa Inc.
Visa 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 digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks – VisaNet – that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed 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, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa/our_business.html .
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