SportPesa goes global with record Hull City deal

English Premier League football club Hull City has signed a shirt sponsorship deal with African online sports betting firm SportPesa.

The two parties have agreed a three-year deal, which will cover the 2016-17 to 2018-19 seasons. Specific financial terms of the “multi-million pound deal” – a record for the club – were not disclosed, although local media reports suggested Hull would earn around £10m (€11.9m/$13.1m) over the course of the partnership.

Under the agreement, Kenya-based SportPesa’s branding will feature on the front of Hull’s playing shirts. SportPesa replaces theme park resort Flamingo Land as the club’s front-of-shirt sponsor.

As part of the deal, Hull will also play a friendly match against a select Kenyan side, although it was not disclosed when such a game would be played. “The deal is by far the largest in our history and a sign of our ambition to grow our club and become a household name in our sport globally,” Simon King, commercial manager at Hull City Tigers, which runs the club, said.

SportPesa’s chief executive Ronald Karauri added: “This is a big milestone for SportPesa as it marks 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. One year from now we will have presence in at least four continents.

“Even as a global brand, staying consistent with our core values that centre around grassroots sport and community development will replicate the success SportPesa has enjoyed in Kenya.”

Earlier this year, SportPesa partnered with Hull’s fellow Premier League club Arsenal, and it is also the current title sponsor of the top-tier Kenyan Premier League. Last week it agreed a five-year, KES607m (€5.4m/$6m) deal to become the headline partner of the Kenya Rugby Union. The agreement will focus on the development of the sport in the country.