Minneapolis, MN – January 30, 2018 – Using sports as a vehicle to help teach young people about the importance of developing personal finance skills, today former NFL Pro-Bowler and Super Bowl Champion Greg Jennings coached a group of Twin Cities area high school students in a different kind of football – Financial Football. Jennings was assisted by representatives from U.S. Bank, the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and Visa.
Financial Football is a fast-paced, high energy educational video game with an accompanying classroom curriculum where students answer questions about an array of financial topics, including budgeting saving and investing. Correct answers help teams move the ball down the field and score points. Wrong answers lead to a defensive stop or possible turnover. The game, which utilizes content from Visa's free, online personal finance education program, Practical Money Skills, is part of a nationwide financial education effort, now entering its 13th season, between Visa, the National Football League (NFL) and the NFL Players Association.
"One of the most important ways we can help students get excited about the often difficult but all- important subject of money is through edutainment and gamification, and that is what we have strived to accomplish with our Financial Football program," said Hugh Norton, Head of U.S. Financial Education, Visa Inc. "Additionally, the long-standing success of programs like this would not be possible without critical public and private partnerships. To that end, I want to thank U.S. Bank, Minnesota Jump$tart and the NFL for their commitment to financial literacy and helping to make today's event a success."
In 2013, Greg Jennings helped Visa introduce Financial Football statewide in Minnesota. The game was distributed to every high and middle school in the state.
In the Minneapolis Convention Center, Jennings shared his personal experience about growing up dealing with finances and life in the NFL before splitting up to coach separate teams comprised of Twin Cities area students from Maranatha Christian Academy (Brooklyn Park), Robbinsdale Armstrong High School (Plymouth), Paladin Career & Technical High School (Blaine), Robbinsdale Cooper High School (New Hope), Coon Rapids High School (Coon Rapids) and Buffalo High School (Buffalo).
"I think there can be a big misconception that professional athletes don't have to worry about managing money and so I'm glad I had the opportunity to convey to students that is the furthest thing from the truth," said Jennings. "Since sports careers don't last forever, it is important that kids, especially those who want to grow up and be professional athletes, understand that they need to have the tools and the understanding to take care of their money when those careers come to an end."
Minneapolis based U.S. Bank and Minnesota Jump$tart also participated in today's event, acting as game "life-lines" for the NFL player coaches.
"At U.S. Bank, we believe that helping young people become financially literate is part of our responsibility to the communities which we serve," said Reba Dominski, chief social responsibility officer for U.S. Bank. Through the bank's Community Possible platform, its employees spend thousands of volunteer hours each year teaching financial education.
"Promoting early and often financial education is truly a monumental team effort because many children in our country do not get their first lessons about money at home or in school," said Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition Board Member, Molly Burnham. "I want to thank Visa for creating such a fun and informative game and making it so accessible for students, parents and teachers across the country."
Financial Football is available in English and Spanish and can be played online or downloaded as a free app. The game also includes companion classroom lesson modules for teachers who want to expand and reinforce greater financial learning. Financial Football can be played at: http://usbank.financialfootball.com/assets/games/ff/.
Since 2006, Visa has partnered with 49 state governments, including Minnesota, and the District of Columbia to co-brand and distribute free copies of Financial Football to every public middle and high school in those states. A new version of Financial Football with updated content and gameplay is planned for release this year.
Financial Football is part of Practical Money Skills, Visa's free, award-winning financial education program that launched in 1995. The program contains comprehensive money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home and in the classroom.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world's leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company's relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa/our_business.html, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp, with 73,000 employees and $462 billion in assets as of Dec. 30, 2017, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest bank in the United States. The Minneapolis-based bank blends its branch and ATM network with mobile and online tools that allow customers to bank how, when and where they prefer. U.S. Bank is committed to serving its millions of retail, business, wealth management, payment, commercial and corporate, and investment services customers across the country and around the world as a trusted financial partner, a commitment recognized by the Ethisphere Institute naming the bank a 2017 World's Most Ethical Company. Visit U.S. Bank online or follow on social media to stay up to date with company news.