February 2, 2012
Little Rock, AR – February 2, 2012 – Tackling head on the issue of financial literacy improvement among Arkansas teens, Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Christian Ponder joined Arkansas State Treasurer Martha Shoffner and Visa Inc. today to announce 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 Shoffner kicked off this new financial literacy campaign today at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock with help from Ponder and Visa officials. Ponder shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with students. Shoffner and Ponder then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a hard-fought, high energy game of Financial Football. Teams were chosen from four area high schools: Bauxite High School, Wilbur Mills High School, Joe T. Robinson High School and Hall High School.
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 Arkansas.
"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 Shoffner. "This is a valuable program and a great partnership between my office, Visa, and the NFL."
"Kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Ponder. "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.arkansas.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 Treasurer Shoffner in her 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-four states and the District of Columbia to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those states, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, 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, Virginia, 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 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.