MobileCampus partners with universities to deliver free messaging services to students who opt in. The SMS system can range campuswide -- from the administration to ticklers and scheduling notes from individual sports teams or clubs. The school and its groups get the service free, with ads and offers from local vendors underwriting the cost.
Charging 20 cents a message, a campaign for a tech vendor like Dell might spend less than $1,000 reaching all of the tech enthusiasts on a large campus. "If we can get 30% to 40% to check it out, that translates into a lot of activity" for a small cost relative to papering the local media with ads, Ryan says. He believes that while MobileCampus is focused on the universities right now, the model is portable to a host of different demographics and niches and that this is a more appropriate way to use mobile.