July 28 – Premier League club Southampton has added African sports betting platform SportPesa as its Official Betting Partner in what the club has described as a signed a “multi-million pound three-year deal”.
SportPesa, founded in 2014, are already involved in football as sponsor of Kenya’s top tier competition. The deal starts with the 2016/17 campaign.
The deal Saints goes beyond a straight sponsorship hook-up and will see the club supporting the development of young football players in Kenya by sending football development and support staff to Kenya, with young Kenyan players visiting the club’s Staplewood Campus to experience football development at a Premier League club.
Saints, until he was sold to Spurs this summer, was where Kenyan international midfielder Victor Wanyama had established himself as a Premier League player and a firm favourite with Saints fans.
The club will offer advice and mentoring support across a range of business areas in Kenya to include; stadium operations, marketing, media and business management.
Gareth Rogers, Southampton FC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with SportPesa in what is by far our biggest partnership in this sector in the club’s history, and one of our largest partnership deals to date.
“This partnership will allow the club to continue to build its partner portfolio for commercial success on an international scale. Our reputation for player development continues to resonate around the world and we look forward to sharing our unique philosophy in Kenya and across Africa.”
Saints recently signed TV and broadband provider Virgin Media as the club’s main sponsor, taking over the shirt sponsorship from consumer electronics firm Veho in a three-year deal.
No figure has been released for the price Virgin Media are paying but market estimates put it at close to £10 million, an increase of 8 times the amount understood to have been paid by Veho, a Southampton-based company.
SportPesa, while predominantly a betting platform, is focused on helping develop grassroots football in Kenya with the aim of the Kenyan national team qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
Ronald Karauri, SportPesa’s CEO, said: “We are grounded to our core values that centre around grassroots sport and community development. Our vision is for Kenya to participate in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and this partnership is a step in that direction.
“We look forward to welcoming Saints Football Development & Support staff to Kenya as well as the opportunity to send our young players to the club’s Staplewood Campus to learn the demands of football development.”
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