April 2, 2014
(Chicago, IL) April 2, 2014 – Chicago Fire forward and 2013 Major League Soccer MVP Mike Magee and Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Bank of America and Visa Inc. today to showcase Visa's new Financial Soccer 2014 – a free, FIFA World Cup™-themed educational video game designed to teach the fundamentals of personal finance. The launch is part of a global effort 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.
Representatives from Visa, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Bank of America kicked off the showcase of this global financial literacy initiative with help from Chicago Fire forward Magee and midfielder Larentowicz. Magee and Larentowicz then rolled up their sleeves and led two teams of students from Chicago's Lindblom High School and Solorio Academy in a hard-fought, high-energy game of Financial Soccer. Earlier, Magee and Larentowicz shared personal experiences on the importance of money management with the students.
"Learning about budgeting, saving and responsible spending are vital skills all Americans should know," said Alejo Torres, Senior Outreach Manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. "Financial Soccer is a wonderful way to get students interested in their personal finances. This is a valuable partnership between the Chicago Fed, Visa, and FIFA."
"I wish this kind of educational video game existed when I was in school," said Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee. "Financial Soccer makes personal finance so fun and entertaining – you almost forget you're learning."
"Kids need to learn to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Chicago Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give children a strong background in personal finance."
"Bank of America is proud to -work with Visa on this event, which supports our long-standing commitment to help people build better money habits." said Michael Voulgarelis, Senior Vice President for Bank of America.
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 new U.S. edition of the game can be played in multiple languages at www.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 the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in their efforts to strengthen financial education of Americans."
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 Inc. (NYSE: V) 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, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit corporate.visa.com and @VisaNews.