Cape Town - Online betting firm SportPesa has become the first African company to sponsor an English Premier League club after it signed a three-year deal with Hull City.
The firm will have its name and company logo on Hull City's home, away and third shirts for the 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons, according to information on the club's website.
"The new sponsorship deal is the most lucrative in the Club’s proud 112-year history," read a statement on the Tigers website.
SportPesa Chief Executive Officer Ronald Karauri said: “This is a big milestone for SportPesa as it marks the scaling of a Kenyan brand into the global market.
"The SportPesa platform will now be available in the United Kingdom and later in the year present in several African countries. One year from now we will have [a] presence in at least four continents.
“Part of our deal will see The Tigers be the first English Premier League team ever to come to Kenya to play a select side as part of our campaign towards having Kenya compete in the World Cup for the first time in 2022.”
The deal whose monetary value was not revealed by either party is believed to be worth millions of Sterling Pound.
Simon King, Hull City’s Commercial Manager, said: “We are delighted to form a three-year partnership with SportPesa.
“SportPesa are so much more than a betting brand, this is a company with a huge footprint across grassroots sport in Kenya, as well as the rest of Africa.
“The deal is by far the largest in our history and a sign of our ambition to grow our Club and become a household name in our sport globally," said Mr King.
Immediately after the signing of the deal, the EPL side posted on its twitter handle pictures of its players modelling the kit at the KCOM Stadium and another of Karauri displaying Hull’s new home kit with SportPesa’s name and logo, their new shirt sponsors, emblazoned at the front.
The partnership with Hull City comes in the wake of what is seen as vicious expansionist strategy by the bookmakers, which has seen them enter into other deals with the Kenya Rugby Union (Sh 607 million), Kenyan Premier League (Sh 450 million), Gor Mahia (Sh 325 million), AFC Leopards (Sh 225million), amongst others.