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Experian and Akbar Gbajabiamila Team up to Help Consumers Tackle Financial Blind Spots

New Experian research reveals majority of Big Game fans struggle with overspending and are eager to improve their credit scores

From high levels of credit card debt to admitted challenges with overspending, football fans could benefit from some updated financial plays ahead of the Big Game according to new research released today by Experian®.

Key takeaways

  • Experian’s survey1 of 2,000 Americans who plan to watch the football championship on Sunday, February 11 revealed 61% feel they struggle with overspending and 30% do not have an emergency savings.
  • On top of that, 88% would like to improve their credit score in 2024.
  • However, more than a quarter (27%) say they do not know where to find trusted financial advice and 34% say they do not have a financial game plan.

To help football fans overcome financial challenges, Experian is partnering with financial wellness advocate and former football pro, Akbar Gbajabiamila, to educate consumers about ways they can improve their financial health.

“Many of us are, rightfully, excited about the Big Game, but having a financial gameplan is key to setting yourself up for success long after the season comes to an end,” said Gbajabiamila, host of “The Talk” on CBS, “American Ninja Warrior” on NBC and “Fight to Survive” on Roku. “I’m excited to partner with Experian to help educate consumers about the steps they can take to tackle their debt, improve their credit scores and protect their financial health.”

Introducing Experian and Gbajabiamila’s Financial Playbook

1. Get your head in the game.

Start by checking your credit reports and credit scores regularly. Thirty one percent of people who plan to watch the Big Game haven’t checked their credit report in six months or more, but checking your credit reports and scores is one of the best ways to uncover the factors impacting your score and see where you stand from a financial perspective.

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus and can access them once a week at Experian also offers a free Experian credit report and FICO® Score2 once a month through the Experian mobile app or online at, along with free credit monitoring, alerts and other benefits.

2. Tackle your spending and debt.

Many football fans are grappling with the rising costs of goods and credit card debt. In fact, twenty-four percent of Big Game watchers are carrying more than $10,000 in credit card debt and 11% do not have a plan for paying down their debt. At the same time, nearly half (45%) percent of people planning or hosting watch parties expect to spend $500 or more and 28% expect to spend $1000 or more on the Big Game.

Aside from football championship-related spending, 57% of Big Game watchers use food or grocery delivery services once a week or more, while 72% of those who plan to host or plan watch parties say they use these services at least once a week. In addition, 65% of people who plan to watch the Big Game go out to eat once a week or more, with 75% of hosts/planners claiming the same.

Convenience can be costly and, while credit can be a financial tool, debt can be a financial problem. To increase your savings or tackle your debt, focus on your needs versus your wants and look for ways to cut costs. Small changes can make a big impact towards helping keep more money in your pocket. Learn how Experian could help you lower your bills and manage your spending at

3. Make smart money moves.

Most football fans who plan to watch the Big Game want to improve their credit score and today they can actively build credit while sitting on the sidelines with Experian Boost®3. This game-changing feature was introduced nearly five years ago and has helped more than 14 million consumers improve their FICO Scores4 by adding payments for cell phones, utilities, video streaming services, residential rent payments and, most recently, insurance payments directly to their Experian credit file.

Additionally, 71% of Big Game watchers said they’d consider using a new debit card if it could help them improve their credit scores, and now they can by paying their bills from the new Experian Smart Money™ Digital Checking Account5. Introduced in October 2023, the Experian Smart Money™ Digital Checking Account has the convenience of Experian Boost embedded with the account. When you use the Experian Smart Money™ Digital Checking Account to pay bills that are eligible for Experian Boost , the feature will capture the payments and add them to your Experian credit file to potentially increase your credit scores.

“Small changes can make a big impact in helping people live more financially empowered lives,” said Christina Roman, consumer education and advocacy manager at Experian. “We’re committed to connecting football fans and consumers across America with the tools, education and resources necessary to tackle their financial challenges and unlock new opportunities in the year ahead and beyond.”

Additional free resources and education from Experian

  • Join Experian’s #creditchat hosted by @Experian on Twitter with financial experts every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time.
  • Visit the Ask Experian blog for answers to common questions, advice and education about credit.
  • Learn how to build and protect your credit with Experian’s Credit Essentials for Everyone flipbook and find additional credit education resources at

About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 22,000 people operating across 32 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people, and innovation to help all our clients maximise every opportunity. With corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, we are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Learn more at or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.


1 Experian commissioned Atomik Research to conduct an online survey of 2,004 adults throughout the United States1. The sample consists of those who say they plan to watch the Big Game on February 11, 2024. The margin of error is +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent. Fieldwork took place between December 15 and December 18, 2023.

2 Credit score calculated based on FICO Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.

3 Results will vary. Not all payments are boost-eligible. Some users may not receive an improved score or approval odds. Not all lenders use Experian credit files, and not all lenders use scores impacted by Experian Boost®. Learn more.

4 Credit score calculated based on FICO Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.

5 The Experian Smart Money Debit Card™ is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank (CFSB), pursuant to a license from Mastercard International. Banking services provided by CFSB, Member FDIC. Experian is a Program Manager, not a bank.


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