Milwaukee, WI - October 9, 2007 - Tackling the problem of financial illiteracy among Wisconsin teenagers head-on, Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Michael Morgan and Visa Inc. today announced the statewide rollout of an effort to improve the money management skills of high school students. Secretary Morgan will be distributing free copies of "Financial Football" - an interactive money management video game with an NFL theme - to every high school in Wisconsin.
The centerpiece of Visa’s nationwide educational initiative with the NFL and PLAYERS INC, "Financial Football" helps students tackle their financial futures. This computer-based game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum and can also be downloaded for free on cell phones.
Secretary Morgan kicked off his new financial literacy campaign today at South Division High School in Milwaukee with help from Visa Inc. officials and All-Pro Wide Receiver Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers. Driver shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with players from South Division’s football team and other students. Secretary Morgan and Driver then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a lively game of "Financial Football."
"It is critical for high school students to know how to make smart money management decisions before heading off to college or entering the workforce," said Driver. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers, and mentors within the community to help young adults develop and build strong financial muscles. I commend Secretary Morgan for making Financial Football available throughout Wisconsin."
"We are working hard to make sure all Wisconsin high school students, have access to as many home and classroom resources as possible to help put them on a path to financial freedom and success," said Secretary Morgan. "Raising the level of financial literacy awareness and education is not something that can be done overnight or by government alone. I am grateful to be joined by partners who share my longstanding commitment to financial education."
Demonstrating broad-based support for having financial education begin at home and extend to the classroom, a new study released by Visa Inc. shows 91% of consumers surveyed believe all high school students should take a financial education class before graduating.
Visa Inc. and Secretary Morgan hope "Financial Football" can help students jumpstart the learning process. "Financial Football" puts students’ fiscal knowledge to the test with a video game that combines the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. To score points, a player needs to answer various money management questions correctly. Wrong answers and penalties can cost a team yardage. The team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game. The game content, developed with the cooperation of the NFL and its players, incorporates lessons taught through Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa Inc.’s free, award-winning money management program.
In addition to being sent on a CD to every high school in the state, "Financial Football" can also be played for free online at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/football. Mobile customers can play the game on their cell phones by texting the word VISA to 24421.
Since 2005, "Financial Football" has been downloaded and played over 100,000 times and similarly rolled out statewide in West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, California, and Pennsylvania, with additional states distributing it this fall.
"For over a decade, Visa Inc. has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to be assisting Secretary Morgan in his efforts to strengthen financial education efforts throughout Wisconsin," said Michael Rolnick, director, Visa Inc.
"Financial Football" is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com), a free, award-winning, teacher-tested and teacher-approved financial education program that is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. The program contains three comprehensive sections, complete with money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home, in the classroom or at work. It also contains an array of tips to help prepare for life changing financial events, from planning for a baby to saving for college and retirement, as well as a number of other budget calculators and interactive games. Visa Inc. also runs What’s My Score (www.whatsmyscore.org), a leading higher education consumer awareness program. The website guides college students through the ABC’s of a FICO credit score, from factors that can lower a score to ways on improving it, at no charge.
About Visa Inc. Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.visa.com.
About Visa Inc.
Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.visa.com.