ST. PAUL, Minn.--Republicans like to call Democrats a party of "celebrities," but the GOP sometimes finds value in star power as well.
Cris Carter, the former NFL wide receiver who played for the Minnesota Vikings, was in town for the Republican convention to promote a video game called Financial Football that Visa designed with the NFL as part of a national initiative to educate young adults about money management. The Young Republican National Federation and the College Republican National Committee were also promoting the game.
Developed in 2004, the computer-based game gives players points for answering financial management questions correctly, while wrong answers cost a team yardage. Like a regular football game, the team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game. The game comes with a classroom curriculum that Visa has freely provided to public schools in 16 states. Financial Football can also be downloaded for free to cell phones--players start a game by texting the word VISA to 24421.
"Young people need to know how to make smart money management decisions before heading off to college and entering the workforce," Carter said in a press release.
College certainly gives young people an opportunity to learn about fiscal responsibility: credit card companies often make deals to pay colleges and alumni associations millions of dollars for access to students' personal contact information in order to target their marketing efforts at young people. A U.S. Public Interest Research Groups survey conducted this year found that two-thirds of college students have at least one card, and the average student surveyed will graduate with more than $2,600 in credit card debt.
Visa also held a Financial Football event at last week's Democratic National Convention in Denver with former Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith.