Safaricom's M-Pesa logo will change for the first time in 12 years in honour of Olympic marathon champion and World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge.
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said the logo "Eliud 1:59" that will run for the next seven days is to support Kipchoge in his challenge to become the first ever athlete to run a full marathon in under two hours in the "INEOS 1:59 Challenge" in Vienna, Austria on a yet to be decided time and day.
Joseph said that their partnership with Kipchoge that will see the Kenyan long distance legend become M-Pesa's brand ambassador.
The company will also provide a free YouTube data bundle on the day of Kipchoge’s race. From 8am to 4pm, all Safaricom customers can stream the race live on their phones at no cost.
The data bundles will be accessed by dialling *159# upon which a customer will receive free YouTube access, allowing them to stream the entire race at no cost.
"We gave the world its first mobile telephone money transfer in 2007 and Kenya will give the world its first athlete to run under two hours on Saturday," said Joseph during the launch of the logo on Wednesday at Safaricom House.
“We are honoured to renew our commitment with Eliud Kipchoge and to support him as he races against time. As part of our support, we will be empowering any Kenyan across the country to stream the challenge for free, wherever they are, with the advantage of our strong network and wide coverage," said Joseph.
To rally Kenyans in their support for Kipchoge, Safaricom will enable all its customers to send free messages voicing their support for the athlete during the race by sending a text to 159. The messages will be displayed live on broadcast TV feeds during the race.
Safaricom has also dedicated its iconic M-Pesa brand in support of Kipchoge’s superhuman endeavour.
Joseph said the last few years have seen Kipchoge emerge not only as one of the greatest athletes ever, but also as one of the most accomplished people in his generation.
"It is a privilege to partner with him on this historic occasion and as an icon, it is only befitting to offer our M-Pesa brand in his recognition,” added Joseph.
Kipchoge’s partnership with Safaricom dates back to 2017 when the company launched its “Twaweza” brand campaign with the marathoner taking the role of brand ambassador.