SportPesa goes global with sponsorship deal

The Kenyan betting company is aware of the exponential rise of mobile gambling across east Africa’s largest economy.

Kenya.- SportPesa, the mobile betting platform has announced a three-year “multimillion pound” sponsorship deal with UK football club Hull City. According to Hull City it was “the most lucrative” deal in the club’s 112-year history. On his part, Ronald Karauri, SportPesa chief executive, said the investment in the EPL club was “a big milestone” for SportPesa as it represented the “scaling of a Kenyan brand into the global market.”

“The SportPesa platform will now be available in the United Kingdom and later in the year present in several African countries,” expressed Karauri. “One year from now, we will have presence in at least four continents.”

Reelforge, a Nairobi advertising analytics firm, estimated that SportPesa was the 20th-biggest advertiser in Kenya last year, after more than tripling its spend since 2014. Online gambling has also greatly boosted revenues for mobile phone companies. Kenya’s dominant telecoms group, Safaricom, reported 10.6 percent growth in messaging revenue in the 12 months to March, with betting considered a big contributing factor. SportPesa is now amongst Safaricom’s biggest messaging customers.

SportPesa already sponsors the Kenyan football league, which is now called the SportPesa Premier League as well as two of the top teams. In addition, the mobile betting company announced last week, it closed a five-year deal to sponsor the Kenyan Rugby Union.