Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, IN - February 01, 2007 - Today, Visa USA teamed up with Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita to announce the statewide rollout of a free, first-of-its-kind cell phone game called "Financial Football" that helps teens learn how to manage money wisely. Developed in conjunction with the NFL and PLAYERS INC, "Financial Football" is an interactive money management football computer game and high school curriculum.
Joining Secretary of State Rokita at a morning kick-off event in Indianapolis was former NFL and Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Jack Trudeau. Gathered in the Covenant Christian High School Library, Trudeau and Secretary of State Rokita helped engage some Covenant Christian students in a computer-based game version of "Financial Football." Later in the day, Secretary of State Rokita and Visa's financial education director, Jason Alderman, introduced students at Paul Harding High School in Fort Wayne to "Financial Football."
"It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and the public sector to give young adults a strong background in personal financial management," said former NFL and Indianapolis Colts quarterback, Jack Trudeau. "I'm glad for the opportunity to teach these Indiana students how imperative it will be for them to learn how to make good, smart and informed money decisions as they plan for college and beyond."
Demonstrating the connection teenagers have with their cell phones and the growing popularity of gaming on mobile devices, a new study of parents released by Visa USA shows that 38% of teenagers play a cell phone game more than once a week. The survey also showed that 10% of teenagers are "super cell gamers," playing games on their cell phone five times a day or more.
Sprint and Cingular customers can access the game by texting the word VISA to 24421. Unlike many other cell phone games, which can cost up to $20, Visa is not charging a fee to download "Financial Football." Additional information on the game is available at http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/indiana/.
Before being developed for cell phones, "Financial Football" already scored points with parents, teachers and teenagers as a computer-based video game. "Financial Football" puts students' fiscal knowledge to the test by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. To score points, a player needs to answer various money-management questions correctly. Wrong answers and penalties can cost a player yardage.
The free computer-based version of this game has already been downloaded and played over 100,000 times. The game and corresponding financial education curriculum are the centerpiece of a major educational initiative, just completing its second season, between Visa, the NFL and PLAYERS INC, to get young people engaged and excited about their financial futures.
In addition to being a game, "Financial Football" is also a one week, five part financial literacy program designed for high school instruction. After viewing the "Financial Football" game and curriculum, the Indiana Secretary of State's Office, with support from Visa, has agreed to a statewide distribution of the CD version of "Financial Football" that will soon be going to every Indiana high school.
"There is an awareness building in Indiana and throughout the country that basic concepts of financial literacy belong in high school classrooms," said Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita. "As a society, we're quick to spend resources instead of managing them. The best way to change that practice is to start talking about finances early, before life teaches financial lessons the hard way."
Last December, Visa teamed up with West Virginia State Treasurer John D. Perdue to announce the first ever statewide roll out of "Financial Football" that will be bringing the computer-based game to every high school and library in West Virginia.
"Visa is proud of its over decade long commitment to financial literacy and to be assisting Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita and his office in their efforts to promote and strengthen financial education efforts throughout his state," said Jason Alderman, director, Visa USA. "We also take great pride in our NFL sponsorship, which is enabling us to work with so many talented current and former players like Jack Trudeau to give students around the country 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 comprehensive financial literacy program - available in English, Spanish and Chinese - that teaches young adults personal finance skills. This free, educational resource provides teachers with lesson plans (kindergarten through college) mapped to their state education requirements. For students, there are interactive games and calculators designed to teach responsibility and important concepts such as earning, saving and budgeting money.
About Indiana Secretary of State
Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita serves as Indiana's Chief Securities Officer. In 2005, Rokita's office launched Indiana Investment Watch - a broad-based program designed to reach and educate Hoosiers who currently invest or may soon be looking for investment opportunities. Created after a statewide survey showed that nearly two-thirds of Indiana adults who own financial investments have little or no knowledge about potential fraud schemes or the security of investments, this program combats the lack of fraud awareness among all Hoosiers. More information about the program and its initiatives can be found at www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com.
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 13,432 member financial institutions, more than 510 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 $1.6 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability.
Worldwide, cardholders in more than 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.