African online sports betting operator SportPesa has inked its first English Premier League shirt deal with Hull City FC.
On Monday, Hull City announced that it had entered into a “multi-million pound deal” that will see SportPesa’s name and logo adorning the team’s home, away and third shirts over the next three EPL seasons. The deal means that gambling operators now have visibility on fully half the EPL’s 20 teams’ shirts.
Specific terms weren’t disclosed, but Tigers commercial manager Simon King called it “by far the largest” deal in the club’s 112-year history. It’s the second EPL deal for SportPesa, having signed on as the Kenyan betting partner of Arsenal FC this February.
SportPesa says its latest deal includes a promise that Hull City will travel to Kenya to play against a local team – the first time any EPL club has made the trip to Kenya. SportPesa is the title sponsor of Kenya’s Premier League, as well as league sides Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, and the company also signed on as sponsor of the Kenyan Rugby Union last week.
SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri called the Hull City deal a “major milestone” for his company as it marked “the scaling of a Kenyan brand into the global market.” SportPesa plans to expand into several additional African markets later this year and also in the UK, where the company plans to launch a UK-licensed betting site next month after striking a deal with platform provider TGP Europe.
SportPesa first launched operations in February 2014 and quickly became a fixture in Kenya’s betting market thanks to a marketing push that made it the country’s 20th largest advertiser in 2015. Kenya has around 30 licensed betting operators, 10 of which are accessible via online channels. SportPesa operates solely via web and text messaging services.