Sportpesa: The Big Picture Beyond Gaming

By Juma Fred / August 3, 2016




SportPesa is a Kenyan company that has brought back hope in sports in Kenya by sponsorships and other forms of support to most of the major sports in the country, including but not limited to:

  1. The Kenya Premier League,
  2. Kenya Rugby Union, Boxing Federation,
  3. Grassroots soccer through various leagues like the SportPesa Super8 League and much more.

On December 2015, SportPesa had various sponsorships with its key pillar being growth of sporting talent and hold a football tournament on the 12 December 2015 in Kakamega that was held to showcase young upcoming talent in being led by former internationals like Sunguti, Murilla, Chinjili, Boniface Ambani and many others. The tournament was worth 100,000 shillings.

Last year too, as part of the Jamuhuri celebrations, Osaga Promotion in conjunction with Sportpesa hosted a boxing event at the Nyayo National Stadium that was between Kenya and Tanzania. In the feather weight, Fatuma Zarika of Kenya faced Asha of Tanzania while Rukia Nasirete while faced Jane Kavulani. In the light welter weight, George Owano faced super light champion in East and Central Africa, Micheal ‘Hurricane’ Odhiamb. While the main bout of the day was about bantam weight which as part of the curtain raiser by Twalib Mubiru from Kenya and Tasha Mujuaji from Tanzania.

Read: The Betting Craze in Kenya: Sportpesa beyond Kenya

SportPesa is also sponsoring the Kenya Rugby Union in a 5-year sponsorship in the tune of 607 Million shillings. To nurture young talent in Kenya, the company has SportPesa Super 8 Premier League which is promoting talent and sporting activities around the country. SportPesa sponsors Basketball too. On the 25th of June 2016, SportPesa held its EFC Basketball tournament which took place at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium. A total of 10 teams took part for the ultimate prize of 100,000 shillings.

SportPesa is giving opportunities for young people to prosper in sports by investing in partnerships like the Arsenal/SportPesa deal which includes training camps for coaches and other stakeholders offered by some of the best professionals in the industry. According to the information on Arsenal website, Sportpesa signed a mega long-term partnership deal with the club, Arsenal. The partnership was aimed in helping SportPesa grow their business as well as help in the growing of talent in Kenya.

Stadiums have also not been left behind by this company.

  • In April this year, Sportpesa was set to revamp the City Stadium to an ultra-modern stadium. “We already have a contract and have come to an agreement with Sportpesa to ensure that the stadium is renovated,” said Jonathan Mueke, the Nairobi Deputy Governor. The renovation is to begin on September.

 

These are just but a few amazing deeds that Sportpesa is doing in the sporting world and most specifically Kenya.

Sportpesa does not sponsor sporting activities alone. The company has been on the forefront to take part in other social-economic matters touching on the economy as well as the welfare of Kenyans in general.

They include the following:

  • On Friday 24th June, 2016, Sportpesa together with Ahadi Kenya Trust were in Mang’u Primary School, North Gatundu, for an anti-jigger campaign. The clinic was aimed at cleaning the pupils’ feet, disinfecting them using potassium permanganate, giving each pupil a pair of shoes and slippers and finally feeding them and many other activities.
  • On 19th December 2015, Sportpesa took part in the Drive-Safe campaign being an initiative of Greenbird Entertainment (based in the Coastal region) in partnership with the Traffic Department of Malindi with sponsorship worth 100,000 shillings to help curb the rampant incidences of road accidents by ‘tuk tuk’ & ‘boda boda’ operators in the area.
  • On Tuesday 15 December 2015, a ground-breaking forum is set to take place when the “Run Clean” seminar took place at the Eden Springs Hotel in Kapsabet. The seminar, sponsored by SportPesa and held in collaboration with the Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) Zone 5 office, the Nandi County Government and Athletics Kenya Central Rift stakeholders is geared towards raising awareness among athletes and their coaches on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) anti-doping code so as to reduce the rising cases of the vice locally.

SportPesa is a private company registered and operating within the law and just like any other business, the owners could choose to go for a global expansion using any possible platforms and the Hull city deal is just one of such platforms for visibility.

SportPesa signed a multi-million-pound deal to become an official sponsor of Hull City Tigers. SportPesa signed a three-year deal with Hull City and will have their name and company logo on the Tigers’ home, away and third shirts for the 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons according to information posted on the Hull City Tigers’ website as the company went beyond Kenya.

SportPesa directors being a private company could choose to invest their profits and dividends in any other industry but instead they have directed a huge amount of their revenue to building the Kenyan sporting industry with initiatives like #JengaGame and sponsorships bigger than any other corporate has ever done.

Former Arsenal Defender Sol Campbell visited Kenya between May 23-28 to conduct a coaching clinic under SportPesa/Arsenal program. The camp was to give international coaching exposure to the Kenyan coaches “thus sharpening their skills”.

“The essence is to develop a local football curriculum based on the Arsenal academy program for our coaches,” said Ronald Karauri, the Chief Executive of Sportpesa.

A team of three Arsenal coaches consisting of Paul Drew Tyler, Mohammed Moaz Awadelkarim and Rupen Shah accompanied the legendary Sol Campbell for the six-day event.

SportPesa has triggered support for sports from other corporate bodies by taking a lead and showing them the importance of the same. Trying to politicize sponsorships might lead to withdrawal of sponsorships not only by SportPesa but also by other corporates in fear of being politically attacked.

I do not agree with individuals who are politicizing the issue of sport sponsoring without seeing the bigger picture. Most of those who are trivializing the efforts being done by the organizations like Sportpesa are doing so without really understanding what Sportpesa stands for. They meekly think that perhaps the company is only concerned with making of profits without focusing on the immense projects that the company has achieved so far.

This article is not trying to endorse Sportpesa but as the Swahili people say, “Mgala muue na haki umpe,” loosely meaning, let us give credit where it is due and not just giving a blanket outlook on innuendos and rumors gathered from other unverified quarters.

SportPesa has done what no Kenyan company has done before in supporting local sports On the Arsenal/South Hampton/Hull City deals, the Kenyan soccer industry stands to benefit from training, scouting of talent and international visibility of the Kenyan soccer industry.

What else do we need? Open your eyes and see the bigger picture.

 



About Juma Fred

Juma Fredrick is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it. You can reach him on: (020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

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