SportPesa may not be the most familiar name among the European betting community but the sportsbook operator is hoping that will all change in the coming months. High profile sponsorship deals involving UK football teams are just the first step in that quest and there is sure to be plenty of exposure coming their way in 2016/17.
SportPesa became the first Kenyan based company to ever sponsor a British club when they signed up with Premier League side Hull City. The deal is for three years and will see the operator’s name on the front of all Hull shirts for the next three seasons.
Typically, the figures involved are not being disclosed but the club did confirm that this was a record sum and it’s one which will hopefully keep the side in English Football’s elite league for the whole of that three year period and beyond.
Simon King, Commercial Manager at Hull City Tigers, the firm who control the football club said,
We are delighted to form a three-year partnership with SportPesa.
SportPesa are so much more than a betting brand, this is a company with a huge footprint across grassroots sport in Kenya, as well as the rest of Africa.
In their home country, SportPesa actually sponsor the Kenyan Premier League and as Mr King says, they are known for giving plenty back into football in Africa. This is the first time we’ve heard of them getting involved in the UK but as the new season gets underway, Hull are not the only club to benefit from their backing.
Back in July 2016, Premier League side Southampton also entered into a three year contract with SportPesa but this time, the operator has been installed as an official betting operator. This is a very interesting deal and it’s one that will see the football club getting directly involved in the company’s aim to develop the sport in its home country.
As part of the arrangement, Southampton have agreed to send some of its development and support staff to Kenya in order to offer coaching assistance while in return, young Kenyan players will be visiting the Saints’ training ground in Staplewood in order to develop their skills and to learn about other areas of a Premier League footballer’s life.
Once again, there are no reports in regards to the amount of money changing hands although this has been referred to as a Multi Million Pound Deal by the press. And, for both Southampton and Hull City, that’s a vital source of funding for their individual 2016/17 campaigns.
Hull City were promoted from the Championship at the end of last season but after the sudden departure of manager Steve Bruce, they became the bookmakers’ favourites to go straight back down.
Faced with an uncertain future – caretaker manager Mike Phelan has yet to be confirmed as permanent boss – the Tigers could make the drop a reality unless they spend big in the January transfer window.
Meanwhile, Southampton also had a change of manager in the summer with former boss Ronald Koeman crossing over to Everton and Claude Puel coming in as his replacement. Saints have certainly improved after a slow start to the season but like Hull, they may well need reinforcements at the start of 2017.
Money raised from the Sportpesa deals could therefore be vital to both in terms of staying in the Premier League where the big money is. As for the bookmaker, this is certainly one of the more interesting sponsorships from recent times and we’re likely to hear a lot more about this Kenyan operator in the months that lie ahead.