Photographer: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

SportPesa of Kenya Agrees to Sponsor English Soccer Team Hull

  • Gaming company, Hull sign multi-million pound shirt contract
  • Deal sees Kenyan gaming company extend reach outside Africa

SportPesa, a Kenyan online gaming company, agreed to sponsor English soccer team Hull City with a multi-million pound, three-year contract and extend the availability of its betting platform into the U.K.

Hull will be SportPesa’s first sponsorship deal outside Kenya, where the closely held business backs the East African’s country’s premier soccer league and Nairobi-based defending champions Gor Mahia. The company plans to have a betting presence in four continents in about a year, Chief Executive Officer Ronald Karauri said in a statement on Hull’s website on Monday.

“This is a big milestone for SportPesa as it marks the scaling of a Kenyan brand into the global market,” he said.

For Hull, the deal is “by far the largest in our history and a sign of our ambition to grow our club,” Commercial Manager Simon King said in the statement, without disclosing the exact terms. As part of the contract, Hull will travel to Kenya to play a national team.

Other English teams to have had sub-Saharan African sponsors include Sunderland, which had the branding of Johannesburg-based Bidvest Group Ltd. on shirts from 2013 to 2015, and Tottenham Hotspur, which formerly had lender Investec’s logo on shirts in certain tournaments.

Hull was promoted to the Premier League in May after a one-year absence. The team’s previous sponsor was Flamingo Land, a zoo-related theme park in the club’s home county of Yorkshire.

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