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FOR MORE INFORMATION: Maria Hatzikonstantinou (703) 683-5004
Steve Burke (703) 683-5004

Visa USA and NFL Pro Bowlers Antonio Gates and John Lynch Teach Detroit Students to Tackle Their Financial Futures

Super Bowl XL Week Kicks Off With a Game of “Financial Football”

DETROIT, MI - Visa USA, the NFL and PLAYERS INC, today, kicked off Super Bowl XL week by playing a different type of football – financial football. Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers and John Lynch of the Denver Broncos talked to Detroit-area high school students about driving toward the end-zone in a game that prepares them to become fiscally fit adults. Both players helped coach and engage students in an animated, money management game called “Financial Football.”

“Teaching the fundamentals of money management in school gives young people a real advantage in today’s financially diverse society,” said Detroit native Antonio Gates. ”I’m glad for the opportunity to be back in my hometown to teach these students how to manage their money because it is such a vital life skill.”

“It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers, and mentors within the community to give young adults a strong background in personal financial management,” said veteran safety John Lynch. “A few months ago, I joined Visa in bringing this message to students in Denver. Now I have the chance to coach another game of “Financial Football” here in Detroit and to tell these students how imperative it will be for them to learn how to make good, smart, informed money decisions, as they plan for college and beyond.”

At the Super Bowl XL NFL Media Center, Antonio Gates was coach of the “home team,” comprised of half the students, while John Lynch headed up the “visiting team.” Together, the two engaged students in “Financial Football.” The content, developed with the cooperation of the NFL and PLAYERS INC, incorporates lessons taught through Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa’s award-winning money management curriculum.

“Financial Football” combines the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. To score points, a team needs to answer questions correctly. And, just like in the NFL, penalties can cost a team yardage. The team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game.

Detroit marked the final stop of a 16-city national effort between Visa and the NFL to promote youth financial literacy across the country. During the past four months, NFL players worked with high school students, providing them with real-life financial literacy lessons, advice and tools.

“Equipping the next generation of leaders with vital financial skills really needs to be a cooperative effort between schools, the business community and government,” said Lafayette Evans, Athletic Director for the Detroit Public Schools, who attended today’s event.

“Visa is proud of its long-standing commitment to financial education and greatly appreciates the assistance we received today from both John Lynch and Antonio Gates,” said Rosetta Jones, Vice President, Visa USA. “We also take great pride in our NFL sponsorship, which is enabling us to work with so many talented players to give students the tools, resources and encouragement they need to become more financially literate.”

Practical Money Skills for Life ( is a comprehensive financial literacy program - available in English, Spanish and Chinese – that teaches young adults personal finance skills. The program reaches more than 100,000 schools and 37 million students in the United States.

The free, educational resource provides teachers with lesson plans (kindergarten-college) mapped to their state education requirements, as well as teacher guides, overheads, instructional videos and CD-ROMs. For students, there are interactive games and calculators designed to teach responsibility and important concepts such as earning, saving and budgeting money.

About Visa USA:
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance, and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system - Members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,500 Member financial institutions, more than 488 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on Visa's processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.3 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability.

Worldwide, cardholders in over 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.

Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources - anytime, anywhere, anyway.

For more information or to schedule an interview with a Visa USA spokesperson, please contact Maria Hatzikonstantinou (ext. 131) or Steve Burke (ext. 108) at (703) 683-5004.

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