Dominant SportPesa eyes softer return to Kenyan football sponsorship

Kenyan news sources report that SportPesa expects to end its blackout of sports sponsorships, despite its ongoing betting tax dispute with the Uhuru Kenyatta government.

Entering 2018, SportPesa Chief Executive Ronald Karauri withdrew all active sports sponsorships, following through on his previous warnings to Kenyan Parliament which had implemented a blanket gambling tax revenue charge of 35% (previous 7.5%).

SportPesa’s sponsorship blackout would significantly impact the funds of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), as the bookmaker would no longer be the lead sponsor of the Kenyan Premier League and Super 8 club competitions.

However, this April SportPesa has been reported to be in ‘open dialogue’ with Kenyan football governance, relating to the bookmaker’s return to football sponsorship.

SportPesa will likely take a softer approach to Kenyan football coverage, as the bookmaker is reported to be offering a lower KSH80m ($800,000) per season deal for its lead sponsorship of the Kenyan Premier League.

Furthermore, SportPesa marketing is reviewing its previous partnerships with Premier League teams’ Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards and the Nakuru All Stars.

Despite the sponsorship blackout, Ronald Karauri’s enterprise has maintained its dominant position as Kenya’s outright betting market leader.

Undertaking a Kenyan online gambling review, this April, Nielsen Research reported that 82% of Kenyan online betting consumers had opened accounts with SportPesa.

Furthermore, during its sports sponsorships embargo, Sportpesa has become the most searched Kenyan business enterprise on

Sportpesa’s dominance of the betting market sees African business analyst question whether the bookmaker actually needs to sponsor any Kenyan football content.

Check Also

SportPesa in regulatory limbo as Kenyan Judiciary’s rejects Pevans re-licensing appeal

SportPesa continues to operate without legal certainty in its home market of Kenya, following the …

Young and male — is the iGaming player stereotype true?

Young and male — is the iGaming player stereotype true?

When considering what makes a ‘typical bettor’, many often imagine a male aged between 18-35, …

SBC Digital Italy: Operators must become ‘more than a betting brand’

Navigating the restrictions of the Italian market has proved challenging for operators amid a ban …