SportPesa adds further rights to Kenya Rugby Union partnership

African online sports betting company SportPesa has enhanced its partnership with the Kenya Rugby Union by becoming the shirt sponsor of the country’s national rugby sevens team.

The deal will begin in December, when Kenya takes on France in the opening leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai. SportPesa’s branding will appear on the front of the team’s playing shirts as part of the agreement.

KRU chairman Richard Omwela told the Capital FM website that the deal will earn the body KES60m (€539,000/$592,000) per year.

SportPesa already serves as the KRU’s headline partner, having agreed a five-year, KES607m deal with the body in July.

The agreement focuses on development of the sport in the country, with SportPesa providing backing for Kenya’s 15-a-side, U19 and women’s teams, as well as KRU’s ‘Get Into Rugby’ youth programme. The company’s branding has appeared on the shirts of the men’s 15-a-side team’s last three fixtures.

Omwela also told Capital FM that Kenya Airways is likely not to extend its backing of the KRU once its partnership with the body ends in November. However, he added that the airline could return as a shirt sponsor in some capacity.

“We have already given that (front) to SportPesa,” Omwela said. “Probably they (Kenya Airways) can consider the back or the sleeve of the shirt and we are also looking at offering them the women’s shirt pending SportPesa agreeing. They (SportPesa) have given us good monetary value as well as taking care of the bonuses.”