Kansas City’s entrepreneurial vigor again was cited as the impetus of a corporation’s expansion into the area.
Virgin Mobile USA announced Friday that it selected downtown Kansas City for the company’s new headquarters as it relaunches its brand under Sprint. Virgin Mobile expects to hire 50 people in a variety of positions by the end of 2016.
“Kansas City has an emphasis on entrepreneurship and technology, especially in the downtown and Crossroads area, which fits exactly with the direction for the new Virgin Mobile,” Virgin Mobile CEO Dow Draper said in a release. “It is a vibrant place to live and work, giving us the ability to attract a world-class team with experience across multiple industries to become part of the global Virgin family.”
“They really want to tap into that energy and vibe that’s so pervasive in downtown and in the Crossroads with tech and entrepreneurship.”
– Tim Cowden
The Kansas City Area Development Council led a multi-organizational effort to attract Virgin Mobile to Kansas City. KCADC CEO Tim Cowden said that Kansas City beat out several other competitors to snag the new headquarters.
“It’s wonderful news for Kansas City and further evidence of the emergence of our technology and entrepreneurial community,” Cowden said. “Dow Draper and his team evaluated markets around the United States — we competed with some heavyweights. And for Kansas City to secure this startup with a powerful brand in the Virgin family is truly phenomenal.”
While the company has not yet announced its office space, it expects to be moved in before year’s end. Cowden said the firm is looking at both the downtown and Crossroads Arts District areas.
“They really want to tap into that energy and vibe that’s so pervasive in downtown and in the Crossroads with tech and entrepreneurship,” Cowden said.
In addition to the area’s entrepreneurial spirit, Cowden said that Virgin Mobile also selected Kansas City for its talent pool. As the firm grows, Virgin hopes to tap the area’s creative professionals.
“It starts and stops with talent,” Cowden said. “Dow Draper and his team really evaluated Kansas City as a basis for its talent. They’ve got to start up really quickly, and grow and sustain an operation here so the talent factor was discussed quite a bit.”
Virgin Mobile’s Kansas City job openings will range from range from career professionals to executive roles, but will primarily be focused in marketing, customer experience delivery and website design and management. Check out the Virgin Mobile Career Site for a list of the available positions.
In 2009, Sprint — then Sprint Nextel — purchased Virgin Mobile in a $483 million deal to focus on pre-paid phone sales. English business mogul Sir Richard Branson founded the Virgin Group, of which Virgin Mobile USA was a part. The conglomerate owns more than 400 companies around the world.