Interactive Experience at INNOVENTIONS and Online Virtual Board Game Offer Key Financial Lessons, Provide ‘Teachable Moments’ to Empower Parents to Discuss Saving and Investing Principles
BALTIMORE, May 19 — T. Rowe Price, in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online, today launched The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) — two interactive financial education and entertainment experiences that offer lessons on the key financial themes of setting goals, saving and spending smartly, staying ahead of inflation, and diversifying your assets. The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) comes to life through a hands-on, interactive experience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot(R) at the Walt Disney World(R) Resort in Florida, and through an online virtual board game at www.thegreatpiggybankadventure.com.
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) premieres at a time when families are engaging in conversations about the importance of saving and investing and how to manage money responsibly. By embedding educational messages into fun, entertaining experiences, The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) makes basic saving and investing concepts more accessible to children and adults alike. The experiences will also empower parents to start or continue the conversations while providing them with “teachable moments” they can use to impart sound financial values and habits to their kids.
T. Rowe Price recently conducted a survey among parents with children ages eight to fourteen and nearly half indicated that because of the current economic conditions they are having more conversations with their kids about money. The survey also showed that parents are worried that they could be doing more to prepare their children to be financially literate, and feel that financial discussions do not happen enough.
“Among the most fundamental lessons of the current financial environment are the importance of saving and getting back to basics,” said Edward C. Bernard, vice chairman of T. Rowe Price Group. “T. Rowe Price has a long history of educating investors and helping them reach their financial goals. Through this unique collaboration, we’re excited to bring core financial principles to life in an immersive and interactive way that goes beyond mere education. The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) will give parents greater confidence to discuss these personal finance concepts with their children.”
At the INNOVENTIONS at Epcot(R) experience, family members work together as they play a series of entertaining, hands-on games that illustrate and convey the financial lessons. After choosing a dream goal, players go through three different interactive activity stations where they direct coins into savings and away from spending buckets via a touch screen, move levers to ride the currents and capture falling coins before they’ve been reduced in value by the evil wolf and his sinister inflation machine, and spread their coins around hiding places as they try to avoid the wolf and learn the value of diversification. Along the way, players are guided by a talking piggy bank who offers guidance and education to reinforce the lessons and help them collect enough coins to reach their goal.
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) online game is a stand-alone experience that explores the saving and investing themes in more depth and can extend the learning for those who have visited the INNOVENTIONS exhibit. Designed to be played in either a single or multi-player format, the online game takes players on a journey through a mythical 3-D world while enabling them to learn the financial lessons along the way. As players advance through the game’s three levels and attempt to reach their dream goals, the financial decisions become more complex. “Finance Smarty Pants” trivia cards, “Financial Fortunes” spaces, “Choose or Lose” dilemmas, and interactive “mini-games” that follow each level emphasize the lessons and provide more opportunities to earn the Truffles that serve as the game’s currency. The game also features a virtual piggy bank which serves as a Personal Investment Guide (P.I.G.), offering game strategies and additional education on the financial concepts.
“As a parent and financial planner, it’s been rewarding to see how engaged families and kids become as they go through the experiences, and to see parents begin to talk with their children about the financial concepts even while they’re still playing,” said Stuart Ritter, CFP(R), a financial planner with T. Rowe Price. “The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) lessons can last a lifetime, and having them instilled at an early age will give parents greater comfort that they will eventually be able to send their children into the world with a more solid financial foundation.”
To further parents’ financial education and empowerment, T. Rowe Price has also created a Family Center microsite as a new section of the firm’s website. The T. Rowe Price Family Center features real-life stories from parents about how they are taking the financial lessons they learned at an early age and are passing them on to their children. Available at www.troweprice.com/adventure, the site will also serve as a gateway to The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) experiences and will link to T. Rowe Price financial tools, calculators, and investment information.
Dan Cockerell, Vice President of Epcot(R), shared his excitement about working with T. Rowe Price to create this unique experience. “At INNOVENTIONS, our focus is on encouraging guests to imagine, invent, inquire and inspire while exploring amazing innovations that make our lives better. The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) will give our visitors a better insight into what it means to save and invest in an innovative and engaging manner.”
Jeff Voris, Director of Advanced Projects at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Online was excited and challenged by the opportunity to create an online experience of The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM). “From the beginning we knew that these lessons were important enough that we had to extend the INNOVENTIONS experience to guests at home. Our goal was not just to create a great, fun online game for kids and their families, but also to do our best to help motivate conversations within families about the importance of setting goals and financial planning. That’s a fairly tall order. When I heard a nine year old talk about how cool the game was and then turn to his little sister and explain to her the importance of diversification I felt confident we had done pretty well in both areas.”
Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ:TROW) is a global investment management organization with $268.8 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2009. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company also offers a variety of sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price’s disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research. More information is available at www.troweprice.com.