For a whopping Sh50m, sports betting firm Betika, will be the main sponsors of Kenyan Premier League club Sofapaka for the next one year.
This was revealed at the official unveiling of the partnership between the duo that was graced by Sofapaka officials led by club president Elly Kalekwa and the betting firm executives among them general manager Lucy Muchira and KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier accompanied by KPL Chief Operations Officer frank Okoth.
“When we launched Betika it was always our dream to be able to give back to our community by finding various ways to grow sporting talent,” said Muchira.
“Betika selected Sofapaka due to its neutrality and as a club that embodies the Kenyan spirit. It is a club that came into the league won the league title in their debut season and represented the country well in the regional and continental sphere and continues to fight for their place at the top despite the numerous challenges that is the Kenyan football environment,” added the Muchira.
Calls for the government to rethink the decision to increase the tax on betting and gaming in general from seven to fifty percent also dominated the launch with Kalekwa saying the betting firms were playing a great role in nurturing the abundant talent in the sports country.
“Apart from the revenue they bring to the government, the firms have done a lot to give funding to sports which gives most of our youths a source of employment,” said Kalekwa in sentiments that were echoed by his Gor Mahia counterpart, Rachier.
“The government should thus consider a more appropriate way to handle the matter.”
Sofapaka captain George Maelo pledged to the new sponsor that their coming on board will not be in vain as the team was now more determined than ever to deliver silverware and promote the firms brand.
“Money matters are very important to the players and now with you (Betika) coming on board, we expect the players to perform even better than we have done in the last few years when we have been solely depending on the generosity of the club president,” Maelo said.
Betika is the only company with a local shareholding to be involved in a sponsorship of such magnitude.