Detroit, MI – November 15, 2011 – Tackling the problem of financial illiteracy among Michigan teenagers head-on, Detroit Lions' Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh, Michigan State Treasurer Andy Dillon, Michigan Jump$tart Coalition, and Visa Inc. today announced the statewide rollout of a new effort to improve the money management skills of high school and middle school students. This free educational video game and classroom curriculum, called Financial Football, was developed by Visa Inc.
Treasurer Dillon kicked off this new financial literacy campaign today at Renaissance High School with help from Lions' Ndamukong Suh, Michigan Jump$tart Coalition and Visa officials. Suh shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with students. Dillon and Suh then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a hard-fought, high energy game of Financial Football.
The centerpiece of Visa's nationwide educational initiative with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, Financial Football helps students and adults tackle their financial futures. This free game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum and is being distributed to every public middle and high school in the state of Michigan.
"Financial Football is a wonderful way to get students interested in personal finances and gives them a financial playbook they can use the rest of their lives," said Treasurer Dillon. "This is a valuable program and a great partnership between my office, Michigan Jump$tart Coalition, Visa, and the NFL."
"Kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Suh. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance."
Available online, at www.michigan.financialfootball.com, Financial Football puts students' fiscal knowledge to the test in an online simulation game environment by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. Visa has also released the game as a free iPhone app on iTunes, along with an optimized HD iPad version.
"We are thrilled to be a part of this event with Mr. Suh and Treasurer Dillon and are grateful for Visa's generous support in making these valuable resources available to students and educators here in our state," said Lois Gibbons, Board Chair, Michigan Jump$tart Coalition.
"For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to assist Treasurer Dillon and Michigan Jump$tart Coalition in their efforts to strengthen financial education," said Jason Alderman, Senior Director of Global Financial Education, Visa Inc.
This launch is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, now in its seventh season. Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with thirty-three states to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
Financial Football is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com) a free, award-winning financial education program that reaches millions of people around the world each year. Launched in 1995, the program is now available in ten languages in thirty countries. At Practical Money Skills for Life, educators, parents and students can access free educational resources including personal finance articles, games, lesson plans, and more. Visa also runs What's My Score (www.whatsmyscore.org), a leading higher education consumer awareness program.
About Michigan State Treasurer Andy Dillon
Andy Dillon was appointed Michigan's 44th State Treasurer by Governor Rick Snyder. Prior to becoming Treasurer, Dillon served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he was elected by his colleagues to serve as Speaker of the House during his final two terms. Prior to achieving elected office, Mr. Dillon served as the Managing Director of Wynnchurch Capital, Vice President of GE Capital, and worked as a financial analyst at WR Grace. In addition, Dillon practiced law for seven years after graduating with his law and accounting degrees from the University of Notre Dame. Treasurer Dillon and his wife Carol are the proud parents of four children.
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.
About Michigan Jump$tart Coalition
The Michigan Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy is comprised of more than 30 public, private and non-profit organizations that seek to improve the personal financial literacy of Michigan students. We endeavor to increase the prominence of financial literacy in youth and adults; develop, disseminate and encourage the use of standards in K-12; and promote the teaching of personal finance by working with teachers, the legislature, school districts and financial institutions. For more information, visit www.mijumpstart.com.