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New York, NY - September 23, 2009 - Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Conference today that it is launching a new FIFA World Cup™ branded educational video game as the centerpiece of a commitment to reach 20 million people worldwide with financial literacy information by May 1, 2013. Last year at CGI, Visa pledged to reach 10 million people with personal finance education within five years, and today the company announced its ambitious plan to double that goal.
To reach this milestone, Visa unveiled an innovative new approach for helping children and adults learn about personal finance: Financial Football - a free video game that combines the world's most popular sport with an award-winning financial literacy curriculum.
A FIFA Partner since 2007, Visa will roll out its Financial Football game (known as Financial Soccer in the U.S.) in over 12 countries in the months leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The game, which went live in Brazil on September 15, is now available for U.S. players at www.financialfootball.com and www.financialsoccer.com. Financial Football is the latest component of Visa's decade-long commitment to financial literacy which has helped millions of people worldwide learn how to manage their money wisely.
"We believe one of the most important tools to spur financial inclusion is not a product - it is knowledge," said Joseph W. Saunders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Visa Inc. "We are pleased to be joining forces with FIFA to harness Visa's personal finance expertise and the popularity of the FIFA World Cup to help people worldwide learn how to manage their money successfully."
"Supporting education is part of FIFA's long-standing commitment to promoting social development through football," said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke. "Visa's Financial Football channels the passion for football and helps make learning about money management entertaining. This learning tool will be a valuable resource for community-based organizations and their work with youngsters."
As part of the launch of Financial Football, Saunders rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today. Saunders was joined at the bell ringing by NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer, U.S. national team captain Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy and World Cup veteran Brian McBride of the Chicago Fire. Before the bell ringing, copies of an NYSE-themed version of Financial Football were distributed to each trader on the exchange floor. The NYSE will also use the game as part of its ongoing financial literacy outreach with teachers across the country.
"NYSE Euronext is proud to join with Visa in promoting financial literacy to America's youth," said Duncan Niederauer, CEO, NYSE Euronext. "Visa and NYSE Euronext share a strong commitment to financial literacy and to reaching young people in innovative and interesting ways. I applaud Visa's initiative and welcome this opportunity, one of many that we support, to increase the public's awareness and understanding of finance and our capital markets."
Following the bell ringing, Visa hosted a Financial Football clinic with Donovan, McBride and Mexican soccer legend Jorge Campos at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Manhattan to give students a preview of the game and teach them the fundamentals of money management.
Financial Football challenges players to answer fast-paced, multiple-choice money management questions correctly to advance down the field for a chance to score a goal. Financial Football offers single player and head-to-head game play options and is being translated into a dozen different languages. This free game features three difficulty levels - geared to children, teens and adults - and has companion lesson modules for classroom use. Players learn key concepts about saving, responsible spending, budgeting, and the wise use of credit.
"It would have been great to learn more about personal finance when I was in school," said Donovan. "Fortunately, Financial Football provides today's students with the opportunity and tools to learn about the financial world in ways that were never available to me when I was younger."
"Money management is a crucial life skill that is essential for success," said Campos. "Financial Football is a great way to learn those skills."
"Knowing how to manage your money will let you take control of your financial future," said McBride. "Financial Football is an excellent way to learn those money management skills, all while getting to play a great game."
To view and download a copy of video footage featuring Financial Football and interviews with Visa executives and soccer players, visit www.thenewsmarket.com/visa.
Financial Football is part of Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa's free, award-winning, financial education program. The program contains comprehensive money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home and in the classroom.
Financial Football comes on the heels of Visa's financial literacy video game developed with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS. That game has been distributed by 23 state governments to every public high school in those states.
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.
For Visa Inc.
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