The Kenyan Premier League on Thursday unveiled sports betting firm SportPesa as its official title sponsors for the next four and half years.
The top tier will now assume the name SportPesa Premier League after the betting firm and KPL entered into the sponsorship package that takes effect immediately and is expected to run until the end of the 2019 season.
The value of the package was not made public but sources privy to the details of the deal intimated to Daily Nation Sport that the parties agreed on a Sh80 million annual fee with a 10 percent annual increment bringing the total figure over the entire duration of the contract to around Sh360 million.
The sports betting firm has been spreading its wings by sponsoring a number of sports events in the country and yesterday, they scored big by securing the sponsorship of the country’s top tier league.
The previous deal, which KPL and East African Breweries through their Tusker brand signed in June 2012, expired at the end of June.
Under the EABL package, which ran for three years, Tusker pumped in Sh170 million. The contract ran out in June this year and subsequent talks to renew it did not materialise.
Speaking at the event, KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier hailed the partnership saying: “We warmly welcome SportPesa to KPL… It (the sponsorship) will help maintain the level of success the league has enjoyed in the region,” he said.
“The aim is to use the revenue to strengthen our league and our clubs and the sponsorship will go a long way in meeting this objective,” he said. “We have a dream that one day, the KPL will not just be one of the best leagues in Africa but the world.”
SportPesa chief executive Ronald Karauri on the other hand said that it was prudent to manage the resources pumped to sports efficiently.
“We should not be left behind because of poor management in sports. Kenya has a huge football talent which should be nurtured to create numerous employment opportunities,” he said.
Also present at the function was SuperSport Head of Africa Andrea Venter, who said that his company was happy with its partnership with KPL.
But even as stakeholders hailed the development, Tusker defender James Situma said that focus should be on lifting football and the welfare of players, many of whom, have been living under squalid conditions.
“I just hope it will trickle down to players because at the end of the day, we’re looking towards a better life.”
All the 16 top tier clubs have been receiving a combined sum of Sh550,000 from the KPL sponsors and with the new deal, this figure is expected to rise.