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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 12, 2005

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

Visa USA and NFL Star Derrick Brooks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Team-Up to Put Bloomingdale High School Students Through Fiscal Gridiron Workout

Students at Bloomingdale Gain Positive Yardage in Game of “Financial Football"

Valrico, FL – December 12, 2005 – Going on offense to advance financial literacy, Visa USA has teamed up with NFL star Derrick Brooks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to talk with Tampa Bay area students about driving toward the end-zone in a different game, one which prepares them to become fiscally fit adults.

“When I was in high school, there were no classes to educate us about how to make smart, informed decisions about money management,” said Derrick Brooks to a crowded room full of students and teachers at Bloomingdale High School.  “I am glad to be here today to share with these students the kinds of skills they will need as they begin to manage their own finances and learn how to stick to a budget.”   

At Bloomingdale, Brooks was coach of the “home team,” comprised of half the students, while Debra Buono, Advanced Placement economics teacher, headed up the “visiting team.”  Together, they engaged students using an animated computer game called “Financial Football.”  The content, developed with the cooperation of the NFL and the NFL Players Association, incorporates lessons taught through Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa’s award-winning money management curriculum. 

Today’s event is part of a seventeen (17) city campaign in partnership with the NFL to promote financial literacy in schools across the country. The NFL players will help the program reach the grassroots level, visiting high schools in their local markets, to provide basic financial literacy training. 

“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.

“Equipping the next generation of professionals, civic leaders, trades people, executives and business owners with vital financial skills really needs to be a cooperative effort between schools, the business community and government,” said Sue Burkett, Assistant Principal of Curriculum, Bloomingdale High School. 

“Visa is proud of its long-standing commitment to financial education, and greatly appreciates the assistance we received today from both Derrick Brooks and the students and faculty at Bloomingdale High School,” said Michael Rolnick, director, Visa USA. “We 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 14,000 Member financial institutions, more than 482 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.

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