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Sportpesa unveiled as Kenya 7s shirt sponsor

Kenya 7s Kevin Wekesa breaks through the Argentina defense on day three of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens at Cape Town Stadium on 11 December, 2022. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby
Kenya 7s Kevin Wekesa breaks through the Argentina defense on day three of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens at Cape Town Stadium on 11 December, 2022. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Sportpesa, a betting company, has come on board to sponsor Kenya 7s for the next three years to the tune of 126 million.

The Sponsorship was unveiled on Thursday and team is set to receiveSh 42m annually with Sh 20 million set aside as  winning bonuses per year.

The Main Shirt sponsors have revealed that each team member will receive a Sh 100,000 bonus for winning any World Sevens Series tournament, Ksh 84,000 for finishing second, and Sh 60,000 for finishing third.

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri said, ““We are delighted to be back in rugby even though we have not come in a big way as we did before. This is just the start and the reason we have a three-year deal is so that at the end, we can definitely increase it to something bigger.”

KRU Chairman Oduor Gangla also commented on the partnership, saying, “We are pleased to be reunited with SportPesa as we seek to steer our national sevens team to even greater height on the continental and global front, something that ties in well with SportPesa’s ambition to steer the country to greater global sporting heights.”

“We want to put the players in better and bigger contracts so that there is more push to work and deliver. We are looking to have them contracted for up to the 2024 Olympic Games so that there is a bigger and long term plan,” he added.

Sportpesa’s return is a reprieve for Shujaa, who were forced to hold an online fundraiser prior to the Dubai 7s because they had not been paid their dues for three months.

Sportpesa returns after initially sponsoring the team in 2016, but later terminated the deal. SportPesa entered the rugby market in 2016 when it signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with KRU worth Sh607 million.

However, the agreement would come to an end when SportPesa withdrew from sports sponsorships in Kenya due to a tax dispute with local authorities.

With the sponsorship, Kenya 7s will be keen to overturn their dwindling fortunes which have seen them fail to go past the group stage in the opening three tournaments of the 2023 season.

Shujaa will need to rise to the top 12 to avoid being in the dangerzone with the number of the core teams set to reduce to 12.

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