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Bronco Legend Faces-off with Young Democrats in Fiscal Scrimmage


Visa and NFL Money Management Game Teaches Financial Facts of Life at DNC

DENVER, CO.Today, Rod Smith, former Bronco wide receiver and two-time Super Bowl champion, U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, and U.S. Representative Heath Shuler teamed up with Visa, the National Football League (NFL), and PLAYERS INC. to help young Democrats sharpen their money management skills through an interactive game called Financial Football. The event--held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention (DNC)--quizzed teams of local high school students, young Democrats, and other DNC delegates on financial fundamentals.

“Visa’s financial education initiative has helped millions of people worldwide learn about managing money wisely. We came to Denver with Financial Football to not only help educate the young Democrats who played the game, but to also shine a spotlight on the importance of financial literacy with the thousands of policymakers attending the Democratic Convention,” said Jason Alderman, Visa’s Director of Financial Education. “Our hope is that the next President places a strong emphasis on helping America’s children learn about the essential life skill of money management.”

Financial Football is the centerpiece of a nationwide educational initiative, now in its fourth season, with Visa, the NFL and PLAYERS INC. that’s designed to help young Americans tackle their financial futures.

Financial Football puts students’ fiscal knowledge to the test in an online simulation game by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. Teams score points by answering various money management questions correctly. Wrong answers and penalties can cost a team yardage. The team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game.

Smith -- the Broncos’ legendary record holder for career receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown catches -- brought to life the importance of money management by sharing some of his personal experiences with the issue.

“It doesn’t matter whether you make minimum wage or millions,” said Smith. “If you don’t learn to budget, save, invest, and pay bills on time, the consequences can be devastating.”

Smith then coached a team of local Denver high school students and young Democrats through the high energy video game at the Denver ESPN Zone. Sharing coaching duties with Smith were Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Heath Shuler (D-NC), former quarterback for the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints. With Smith and Rep. Perlmutter coaching the Broncos during the game and Rep. Shuler leading the Vikings, it was a friendly rivalry between the two cities hosting the Democratic and Republican conventions.

The computer-based Financial Football game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum, which has been distributed to every public high school in Colorado. Since 2006, Visa has also reached agreements to distribute the game to each public high school in: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The game’s online version has been downloaded more than 200,000 times at In 2007, Financial Football also became a free, first-of-its-kind cell phone game. Mobile customers can play the game by texting the word VISA to 24421.

Financial Football is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (, a free, award-winning, teacher-tested and teacher-approved financial education program that is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. The program contains three comprehensive sections, complete with money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home, in the classroom or at work. It also contains an array of tips to help prepare for life changing financial events, from planning for a baby to saving for college and retirement, as well as a number of other budget calculators and interactive games. Visa also runs What’s My Score (, a leading higher education consumer awareness program. The Web site guides college students through the ABC’s of a FICO credit score, from factors that can lower a score to ways on improving it, at no charge.


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