Kenyan Premier League Welcomes Return of SportPesa Backing

This week’s sponsorship news includes details of an about-turn by the African sports bookmaker SportPesa who have decided to return to their roots and get behind the Kenyan Premier League once again.

The operator withdrew their funding for local sports across the country at the start of 2018 in protest at the government’s 35% tax levy on betting companies. It was a move that drew controversy at the time as, while SportPesa withdrew from its native Kenya, the company continued commercial partnership deals outside of the country including those with Everton and Arsenal in the English Premier League.

Happily, the arrangement has been restored and it even goes further with the sportsbook adding sponsorship deals with two of Kenya’s major football clubs.

Happy Returns

As SportPesa move back into Kenyan Premier League sponsorship, we’ve seen a rare set of financial information declared for a deal of this kind. The League will receive Shs 259 Million and the Kenya Football Federation will also pick up Shs 69 Million as part of the arrangement.

SportPesa then went on to extend their involvement in the nation’s football by arranging individual sponsorship deals with two clubs: Reigning Premier League Champions Gor Mahia will therefore receive Shs 198 million in finding while their great rivals AFC Leopards cash in to the tune of Shs 159 million.

It’s a huge development for Kenyan Football as a whole and one that has naturally been welcomed by all parties.

Commitment

A statement on SportPesa’s official Twitter account read:

Our dedication and commitment to the development of sports in Kenya continues. We are proud to announce our return to local sponsorships with these key football industry players.

A response was also found on the same social media channel, this time from the Gor Mahia Football Club.

SportPesa have announced they have resumed sponsorship with Gor Mahia. Under the new deal Gor mahia will receive Ksh. 198 million package in a 3 year deal.

The responses are perhaps a little understated and they may mask the significance of SportPesa’s return to Kenyan football. This is actually a really big deal and something of a relief to the two federations involved after the sponsor effectively suspended their support in January 2018 and for the two clubs who are directly involved, the extra funding will help them to improve their squads and continue their great rivalry at the top of the KPL.

The money will also help Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards prepare for battle in May with English Championship side Hull City in a tournament which was also announced this week.

Balance

The news wasn’t quite so good for other sports in the country as SportPesa confirmed that they would not be renewing existing deals with rugby union and boxing organisations within Kenya but this still represents a huge financial commitment which is good news for the country as a whole.

Hopefully, this will also be a continuous deal with no further interruptions and from this point, football in Kenya can start to really build.