EXCLUSIVE: SportPesa deal done as Racing Point switches to pink and blue

Kenyan bookmaker SportPesa has signed a major two-year sponsorship deal with Formula One team Racing Point, at an annual fee of “under $15m”, SportBusiness Sponsorship can confirm.

Sources close to Racing Point said that negotiations took place last week, with the team looking for $10m (€9m) to $12m in the first year of the deal and $13m to $15m in the second year.

It is understood that that the final year of the deal was agreed at “slightly under $15m per year”, more than the $10m per year reported by motorsports site RaceFans.net earlier this week.

Formerly known as Force India, Racing Point was bought out and rebranded by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll in August last year.

The $15m mark is important because this is the fee Best Water Technology Group (BWT) is thought to have paid Force India for its main partnership position.

The investment saw Force India change its livery to a striking pink to compliment the pink and light blue BWT logo. BWT remains a major sponsor of the rebranded team.

SportBusiness Sponsorship cannot confirm that SportPesa has acquired team title rights as part of the deal, but can reveal that the team will change its racing colours to pink and blue this season.

The SportPesa logo is white on dark blue.

Experts believe that Formula One’s central gambling sponsorship rights deal with Interregional Sports Group (ISG) may have acted as a catalyst for teams and betting brands to develop partnerships.

Aston Martin Red Bull set the precedent with W66.com in a deal signed in December.