January 21, 2014
(Salt Lake City, UT) January 21, 2014 – Utah Treasurer Richard Ellis, Real Salt Lake coach Jeff Cassar and midfielder Sebastian Velasquez joined Visa Inc. today to announce the launch of Financial Soccer 2014, a free, FIFA World Cup™-themed educational video game designed to teach students and adults the fundamentals of personal finance. The launch is part of a nationwide effort led by Utah to improve the money management skills of high school and middle school students.
Visa's Financial Soccer combines the world's most popular sport with a high-quality financial literacy curriculum to create an innovative approach for learning about money management, while tapping the passion for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil.
Utah Treasurer Ellis kicked off the U.S. launch of this global financial literacy initiative today in the Utah State Capitol with help from Real Salt Lake coach Cassar, Salt Lake midfielder Velasquez and Visa officials. Ellis, Cassar and Velasquez then rolled up their sleeves and led teams of West High School students in a hard-fought, high energy game of Financial Soccer. Earlier, Cassar and Velasquez shared personal experiences on the importance of money management with students.
"Learning about budgeting, saving and responsible spending are vital skills all Americans should know," said Utah Treasurer Richard Ellis. "Financial Soccer is a wonderful way to get students interested in their personal finances and I am happy to make Utah the first state to launch Financial Soccer as part of its nationwide rollout. This is a valuable partnership between my office, Visa, and FIFA."
"I wish this kind of educational video game existed when I was in school," said Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Velasquez. "Financial Soccer makes personal finance entertaining – you forget you're learning."
"Kids need to learn to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Real Salt Lake Coach Jeff Cassar. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give children a strong background in personal finance."
Financial Soccer challenges players to answer fast-paced, multiple-choice money management questions correctly to advance down the field for a chance to score a goal. The game tests players' knowledge of the United States financial system and features all-new questions, superior graphics and dynamic gameplay. The new U.S. edition of the game is being released in English and Spanish and can be played at uttreasurer.financialsoccer.com.
"Visa remains committed to promoting financial literacy nationwide," said Nat Sillin, head of U.S. Financial Literacy for Visa. "We are proud to assist Treasurer Ellis in his efforts to strengthen financial education of Utahans."
A FIFA partner since 2007, Visa is rolling out Financial Football in countries around the world in the lead up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.
Financial Football is part of Visa's free financial education program, Practical Money Skills www.practicalmoneyskills.com, which offers educational resources for educators, parents and students including personal finance articles, additional games, lesson plans and more.
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 electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks – VisaNet – that is capable of handling more than 47,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured 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 corporate.visa.com.