Visa is launching an educational video game as part of its goal to reach 20 million people worldwide with financial literacy information by May 2013.
The financial company introduced the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup game at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference. Last year at that event, Visa pledged to reach 10 million people with personal finance education within five years, and at this year's conference the company announced its plan to double that goal.
The game -- known as Financial Soccer in the U.S. or Financial Football overseas -- is geared toward both children and adults. It combines the world's most popular sport with a financial literacy curriculum. The game will be promoted in 12 countries in the months leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It debuted in Brazil on Sept. 15 and is now available for U.S. players at www.financialfootball.com and www.financialsoccer.com.
Financial Football is comprised of multiple-choice money management questions. When answered correctly, players 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. The free game features three difficulty levels and has companion lesson modules for classroom use. Players learn key concepts about saving, responsible spending, budgeting, and the wise use of credit.
Jason Alderman, director, financial education at Visa, says the company is buying some online ads to reach teachers or parents who might be searching for this type of educational tool.
"We're also using our existing Web-based channels, such as the Visa corporate site," Alderman tells Marketing Daily. The game will also be hyperlinked at the company's flagship education site, practicalmoneyskills.com, which gets over one million page views per month, he says.
Visa is also relying on its partners, who are creating customized versions of the game and co-branding it to pass on to customers, Alderman says. Those include the New York Stock Exchange and the National Disability Institute.
In every country the game launches in, Visa is finding partners to work with. For example, in Mexico, the company is working with the Mexican consumer protection institute and other financial institutions to get the word out on the game.
As part of the game's U.S. launch, Visa Chairman and CEO Joseph W. Saunders rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange Sept. 23. 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.
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 is part of "Practical Money Skills for Life," Visa's free 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 thus far by 23 state governments to every public high school in those states.