St. Petersburg, FL – October 11, 2011 – Tackling the problem of financial illiteracy among Florida teenagers head-on, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jeff Atwater, Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Quarterback Josh Freeman and Visa Inc., today announced the statewide rollout of an effort to improve the money management skills of high school and middle school students. This educational video game and classroom curriculum called Financial Football is free of charge and was developed by Visa Inc.
As part of his financial education initiative, Your Money Matter$, CFO Atwater launched Financial Football today at Northeast High School with help from Josh Freeman and Visa officials. Freeman shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with students. CFO Atwater and Freeman then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a hard-fought, high-energy game of Financial Football.
"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. This is a valuable program and a great partnership between my office, Visa and the NFL," said CFO Atwater. "In today's challenging economy, it is even more important to find creative ways to educate our youth on how to make sound financial decisions and protect their financial futures."
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 by CFO Atwater.
"Kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Freeman. "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.florida.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.
"For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to assist CFO Atwater in his efforts to strengthen financial education throughout the state of Florida," said Nancy Panter, Manager of Corporate Relations, Visa Inc.
Financial Football is the latest addition to CFO Atwater's Your Money Matter$, a new financial education initiative that aims to connect Floridians of all ages with the financial tools and resources they need to build a strong financial foundation and future. Your Money Matter$ includes a comprehensive financial education Web site as well as financial workshops. Find out more at www.myfloridacfo.com/ymm/.
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 states to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those states. These states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, and 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 Florida CFO Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater's priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.
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 10,000 transactions 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.