Football teams in Kenya are in for some exciting times after a brewing company secured a huge deal to sponsor the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), as published in the Kenyan Gazette, East African Breweries (EABL) Limited has secured a 60 million shillings ($713, 436 ) deal for the KPL for the next three years.
Details from the gazette shows that EABL will have exclusive rights to sell alcoholic beverages as well as advertise their brands at all KPL games and events. EABL will also sponsor all football and other activities managed by the KPL, and are the only firm authorised to sell and distribute its brands and will be the official sponsor of KPL activities.
KPL chief executive Jack Oguda is excited about the deal and says the package will ensure the league is more competitive.
“For four years we have been chasing a title sponsor. Now we are seeing something coming up. We hope all the loose ends will be tied before the final unveiling of the sponsorship,” he said.
EABL had been the league sponsor as far back as 1997. However, the beverage making company had to pull away due to corruption and mismanagement issues which plagued football in the country. It has now come back with a double sponsorship deal of both the national team as well as the league. Oguda believes this is a sign that football is growing in the country.
“It is a sign that corporates are coming back to sponsor football and clubs need sponsors to supplement what we get from the broadcast and title sponsors.”
“We will continue sourcing for more partners. Football is growing fast in this country and the interest is equally increasing, which is good, especially for the small teams,” he concluded.
However, much as there is euphoria amongst clubs due to the expected windfall, there is still a little issue of clash of interest which needs sorting.
Early this year, soft drink giant Coca~Cola got back branding rights for the Nyayo National Stadium where most KPL matches are played and broadcast live to viewers. With the proposed EABL deal, this may pose a challenge as both companies are indirect competitors.
Nonetheless, once the deal is concluded, Kenya will now join the list of African countries including South Africa, Ghana and Egypt with mouth watering league deals.