FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 23, 2007
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
(703) 683-5004, ext. 118
Visa Inc. and Saints Cornerback Mike McKenzie Team Up to Teach New Orleans Students How to Tackle Their Financial Futures
"Financial Football" Money Management Computer Game and Award-Winning Curriculum Helps McDonogh No. 35 and Warren Easton Students Cross Real-Life Money Goal Line
New Orleans, LA – October 23, 2007 – Going on offense to advance financial literacy, today Visa Inc., the NFL and PLAYERS INC have teamed up with Saints Cornerback Mike McKenzie to engage New Orleans high school students in a different kind of football game - one that prepares them to become fiscally fit adults. Called "Financial Football," this free, interactive, money management football computer game, cell phone game and one-week high school curriculum is the centerpiece of a nationwide Visa/NFL educational initiative, now in its third season, to promote youth financial literacy.
"Helping students develop and build strong financial muscles at an early age will give them a real advantage when it comes to planning for their financial futures," said McKenzie to a group of students and teachers from McDonogh No. 35 High School and Warren Easton Fundamental Senior High School. "Managing money and finances is a vital life skill, and one that is best taught, and learned, before high school graduation."
Demonstrating broad-based support for having financial education begin at home and extend to the classroom, a new study released by Visa Inc. shows 91% of consumers surveyed believe all high school students should take a financial education class before graduating.
Huddled in the New Orleans Saints locker room at the Superdome, McKenzie coached the students through a friendly game of "Financial Football." The content, developed with the cooperation of the NFL and its players, incorporates lessons taught through Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa's award-winning money management program.
"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. To score points, a team needs to answer various money management questions correctly. Wrong answers and penalties can cost a team yardage. The team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game.
Today's event is the ninth stop of this year's educational campaign. "Financial Football" has been rolled out statewide in West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Wisconsin, with additional states distributing it this fall.
Since 2005, "Financial Football" has been scoring points with parents, teachers and teenagers as a computer game that has already been downloaded and played over 100,000 times for free at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/football. Earlier this year, "Financial Football" became a free, first-of-its-kind cell phone game. Mobile customers can play the game on their cell phones by texting the word VISA to 24421.
"Visa is proud of its long standing commitment to financial education and greatly appreciates the assistance we received today from Mike McKenzie," said Michael Rolnick, director, Visa Inc. "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."
"Financial Football" is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com), a free, award-winning, teacher-tested and teacher-approved financial education program that is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. The program contains three comprehensive sections, complete with money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home, in the classroom or at work. It also contains an array of tips to help prepare for life changing financial events, from planning for a baby to saving for college and retirement, as well as a number of other budget calculators and interactive games. Visa Inc. 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 operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.visa.com.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a Visa Inc. spokesperson, please contact Romney Willson at (703) 683-5004, ext. 118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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