Effective in October, Sprint plans to offer products and services to college students through TheCampusHub.com, a company formed by the Nebraska Book Company, Haas Wheat & Partners, and MSD Capital.
TheCampusHub.com gives campus bookstores a turnkey e-commerce solution that allows them to provide textbooks, collegiate merchandise, and other goods and services online. In addition, TheCampusHub.com arms the college bookstore with a “click-and-mortar” strategy to effectively compete against online competitors.
“By working with industry leaders like Sprint, TheCampusHub.com helps to drive traffic through the college bookstore’s Web site rather than around it,” said Barry Major, president, TheCampusHub.com. “Bookstores are able to offer an exciting new product, while increasing revenues for the store, and students will enjoy the convenience of buying online.
“We believe the bookstores are in the best position to provide quality products and services that serve students’ needs, as well as improve store profitability. We will soon be announcing other services that will further make the bookstore’s Web site the preferred site of college students,” said Major.
TheCampusHub.com provides a campus bookstore’s Web site with inventory of name brand items the bookstore may not currently offer, without adding thousands of feet of floor space.
“We believe that the bookstore is our customer and the student is the bookstore’s customer. The CampusHub concept is centered around that belief,” said Major. “In the first 90 days of implementation, we have penetrated more than 20 percent of the 15 million student population by installing this software in bookstores that see this as a way to keep their customers shopping locally and improve store profitability. We think our business strategy has been validated by the overwhelming response thus far and the tremendous interest we have seen from the bookstore industry.”
According to Major, TheCampusHub.com allows every college bookstore to create a dominating presence in the e-commerce arena. The bookstore historically has been the place where commerce has been transacted with the college student. Through CampusHub, bookstore managers can build an online presence that becomes a natural extension of where college students have been shopping for decades.
Beginning this October, Sprint will offer “virtual” prepaid phone cards to college students across the nation. Through their college bookstore’s Web site, students may purchase a Sprint phone card on line anytime, day or night. The virtual prepaid phone cards are e-mailed immediately to the student and may be downloaded to a printer, or calling instructions may simply be written down for future reference.
“We are excited to team up with TheCampusHub.com to offer students the convenience of purchasing prepaid phone cards online and we look forward to bringing other Sprint products to CampusHub in the near future,” said Tom Murphy, director, Sprint prepaid phone card sales and marketing. “The college market is an attractive demographic for Sprint, and through CampusHub, we are able to bring a wonderful product to market quickly and effectively.”
TheCampusHub.com is based in Lincoln, Neb., and was formed by the Nebraska Book Company, Haas Wheat & Partners, and MSD Capital in May 2000. The company gives campus bookstores an integrated and turnkey e-commerce solution and allows them to serve students as the primary online buying source for textbooks, collegiate merchandise, and other goods and services. Haas Wheat & Partners is a private equity firm that invests in operating companies through friendly acquisitions in concert with company management. MSD Capital, the private investment firm of Michael Dell, engages in a broad range of activities, with a primary focus on investing in new, promising technology companies, traditional private equity activities, and investing in publicly traded securities.
About Nebraska Book Company
Based in Lincoln, Neb., Nebraska Book Company was founded in 1915 and is one of the nation’s largest used textbook wholesalers. Nebraska Book currently sells more than 7.1 million books annually to approximately 2,000 college bookstores, and owns or operates 100 bookstores. Nebraska Book also operates a cooperative buying program whose more than 400 member bookstores represent a large portion of the major universities in the country. In addition, Nebraska Book provides inventory management software to more than 300 college bookstore locations.
Sprint is a global communications company — at the forefront in integrating long distance, local, and wireless communications services — and one of the largest carriers of Internet traffic. Sprint built and operates the United States’ first nationwide, all-digital, fiber-optic network and is a leader in advanced data communications services. Sprint has $20 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 20 million business and residential customers.Details