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Visa partners with NFL to promote Financial Football apps

Visa Inc., the NFL and running backs Felix Jones and Tashard Choice of the Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver Matt Forte and linebacker Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears kicked off Super Bowl XLV week at an event to promote the Financial Football mobile game.

Together, the partners showcased an effort to improve the money management skills of Texas teenagers by playing a game of Financial Football, an interactive money management video game with an NFL theme. The free game is available online at, and Visa also released the game as a free application for Apple’s iPhone, along with an optimized HD iPad version.

“Financial Football is a financial literacy tool in the form of a video game where you have to answer personal finance questions to advance,” said Jason Alderman, senior director of financial education at Visa, San Francisco. “We knew that PCs were not going to get the kind of complete coverage we were looking for, and that is why we decided to do a version for the iPhone and an HD version for the iPad.

“Financial education has to be parent-led, so we wanted to create it on a medium that is engaging for middle school and high school students, the iPhone and iPad, but also accessible to parents,” he said. “There are a lot of personal beliefs and values tied up in money, and parents have to share their beliefs about mobile with their children—Financial Football enables that conversation.

“The mobile piece is very important to us—that is where we expect a lot of the growth and the at-home usage, whereas more of the at-school usage will be on the PC version.”

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to digital currency.

Mobile gaming to promote financial education
The centerpiece of Visa’s nationwide educational initiative with the NFL and NFL Players, Financial Football puts students’ fiscal knowledge to the test by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty.

To score points, a team needs to answer a series of money management questions correctly.  Wrong answers and penalties can cost a team yardage.

Mr. Jones, Mr. Choice, Mr. Forte, Mr. Briggs and Visa officials gathered to spotlight the game at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel & Conference Center.

The NFL players shared their personal experiences on the importance of money management with students from Macarthur High School and Pearland High School.

All four NFL players then rolled up their sleeves and coached student teams through a game of Financial Football. 

The launch of the applications for the iPhone and iPad is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and NFL Players now in its sixth season.

Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with twenty-nine states, including Texas, to distribute the Financial Football game to public high schools statewide for free.

The other states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, 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, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Financial Football is part of Practical Money Skills for Life, a free financial education program that Visa claims reaches millions of people worldwide each year.

Launched in 1995, the program is now available in ten languages in more than thirty countries. 

At Practical Money Skills for Life, educators, parents and students can access free educational resources including personal finance articles, games and lesson plans.

Visa also runs What’s My Score, a higher education consumer awareness program.

“People are using these mobile devices on the go all the time, and even in the home, in ways they don’t use a PC,” Mr. Alderman said. “We want to deliver it in a medium that is acceptable and what they are looking for.

“People don’t tend to seek out personal finance information, so we have to make it so it is fun,” he said. “We’re engaging athletes to help get the word out—we did an event in Dallas with a couple of Cowboys and a couple of Bears, as they get a level of attention that we do not get on our own.

“[New Orleans Saints’ quarterback] Drew Brees has graciously agreed to help out, and that really helps raise the profile of the game and makes it more credible to kids.”

Final Take
Drew Brees plays Financial Football at Bay High School