FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 30, 2007
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
(703) 683-5004, ext. 118
Visa Inc., Bank of America and Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver Keary Colbert Team Up to Teach Charlotte Students How to Tackle Their Financial Futures
"Financial Football" Money Management Game and Award-Winning Curriculum Help Independence High School Students Cross Real Life Fiscal Goal Line
Charlotte, NC – October 30, 2007 – Going on offense to advance financial literacy, today Visa Inc., Bank of America, the NFL and PLAYERS INC have teamed up with Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver Keary Colbert to engage Independence High School football players 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 Colbert to a group of football players and teachers from Independence 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 Carolina Panthers locker room at Bank of America Stadium, Colbert coached the "home team" comprised of half the students while Bank of America senior vice president, John Tuders, headed up the "visiting team." Together, the two engaged students in 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 free, award-winning money management program.
"Equipping our nation's youth with a roadmap to financial freedom and success really needs to be a cooperative effort between schools, the community and government," said Tuders. "We believe it is critical to take the time to talk to students about how they can prepare now to make wise financial decisions for a lifetime. As the Official Bank of the NFL, we applaud Visa's ‘Financial Football' program as a fun and innovative way to deliver financial education to our young people."
"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 tenth 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 Keary Colbert," said Rosetta Jones, vice president, 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 Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 57 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,700 retail banking offices, more than 17,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 23 million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 175 countries and has relationships with 99 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. www.bankofamerica.com
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 Steve Burke at (703) 683-5004, ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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