Chicago, Illinois – April 4, 2011 – Soccer legends Brian McBride and Cobi Jones helped U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, Ariel Investments' Founder and Chief Investment Officer John W. Rogers, Jr., and Visa Inc.'s Chief Financial Officer Byron Pollitt to kick off Money Smart Week today by playing Financial Soccer.
This all-star team of soccer and financial experts showcased an effort to improve the money management skills of Chicago area teenagers by playing a lively game of Financial Soccer, an interactive FIFA World Cup™ branded video game that combines the world's most popular sport with a high-quality financial literacy curriculum.
As part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Money Smart Week and following on the 2011 Financial Literacy and Education Summit, McBride and Jones shared their personal experiences on the importance of money management with students from Hinsdale South High School. All of the participants then rolled up their sleeves and coached student teams through a lively game of Financial Soccer.
"In today's increasingly complex financial marketplace, it's critically important that students enter the workforce with the knowledge and tools they need to make sound economic decisions, manage risk, and avoid financial pitfalls. Fun and engaging tools like Financial Soccer are a great way to help set today's youth on the path to a more prosperous future as business leaders and entrepreneurs. I'm thrilled to be joining soccer greats like Brian McBride and Cobi Jones to kick off Money Smart Week with the students from Hinsdale South," said U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the House Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus, as well as a senior member of both the House Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.
"Financial Soccer provides today's students with the opportunity to learn about the financial world in ways that were never available to me when I was younger," said McBride.
"The resources that are being offered here today by Visa will most certainly help Chicago area students understand the fundamentals of their financial future," said Jones.
"The game is an excellent tool for learning money management skills," said Rogers. "These are life-long lessons kids need to learn early on."
Financial Soccer challenges players to answer fast-paced, multiple-choice money management questions correctly to advance down the field for a chance to score a goal. Financial Soccer offers single player and head-to-head game play options. This free game features three difficulty levels – geared to children, teens and adults – and has companion lesson modules for classroom use. Players learn key concepts about saving, responsible spending, budgeting, and the wise use of credit.
A FIFA Partner since 2007, Visa has rolled out Financial Soccer (known as Financial Football outside the U.S.) in 30 countries around the world. The game can be played in English, Spanish and 8 other languages at www.financialsoccer.com.
"For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to have Brian McBride, Cobi Jones, Rep. Biggert and John Rogers Jr. with us as we work to promote the importance of financial education," said Jason Alderman, Senior Director of Global Financial Education, Visa Inc.
Financial Soccer is part of Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa's free, award-winning, financial education program. The program contains comprehensive money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home and in the classroom. The game is the latest component of Visa's decade-long commitment to financial literacy which has helped millions of people worldwide learn how to manage their money wisely.
Financial Soccer comes on the heels of Visa's financial literacy video game developed with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS. That game has been distributed by 29 state governments to every public high school in those states.
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 20,000 transaction messages 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.