Visa Pitches to Snowball’s Teens

Visa U.S.A. launched a joint promotion with San Francisco-based “Gen i” network operator Snowball.com aimed at reaching teenagers with a special offer for the Visa Buxx card, a prepaid re-loadable card for youngsters.

The companies said the promotion will be emailed to millions of teens registered on Snowball’s IGN.com and ChickClick.com networks, offering a free three-month trial subscription to Snowball’s IGNinsider club if the teen’s parent signs up to receive a Visa Buxx Card.

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed.

“What we saw in Snowball is a partner with a strong presence on the Web with a large, active, teen user community,” said Visa U.S.A.’s Todd Brockman, vice president of prepaid products.

The Visa Buxx card, launched a year ago, allows parents to load money onto the card, and then track spending through the Visa Buxx issuing bank’s Web site or VisaBuxx.com. It is not a credit card as such, but a reloadable, pre-paid card that can be used everywhere Visa is accepted.

The promotion “enables us to provide a valuable service to the teen segment of our community by giving them spending power online in a way that teaches financial responsibility,” said Rick Boyce, president of Snowball .

Whatever the financial arrangements, Snowball no doubt can use the money. Its stock is down to 32 cents a share from a 52-week high of $8.90. In the second quarter, it posted a pro forma net loss of $4.6 million, or 41 cents per share. That was an improvement from a loss of $13.4 million, or $1.21 per share, for the year earlier period, but revenues were down to $2.3 million from $6.2 million a year ago.

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