Karauri explains why company resume sponsoring multiple sports disciplines

The betting firm sponsored multiple sporting franchises both locally and internationally until 2020 when they were forced to shut down their operations.

SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri has revealed why they are yet to resume sponsoring multiple sporting disciplines as frequently as they used to a few years ago. The gaming company had grown in popularity in the 2010s decade, which allowed them to sponsor multiple sporting franchises both locally and internationally.

In 2016, they sponsored the FKF Premier League, as well as Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. They also sponsored Tanzanian clubs Simba and Yanga, as well as English sides Hull City and Everton. In boxing, the company sponsored legendary boxer Fatuma Zarika. In rugby, they sponsored both the men’s and women’s teams.

However, in 2020, the company shut down in Kenya because of taxes levied on the gaming and betting industry. KRA asked the firm to pay Ksh21 billion in taxes.

“Before SportPesa was closed, it was a totally different environment for all sports in Kenya. The amount we could spend at the time is totally different from now. It is not that we are not struggling as a business, but once we make a commitment, we like to live through that commitment. We were shut down for no reason at all but we got back into the business, and even after getting back, it was difficult to get back into sponsorships because of the financial constraints,” – Karauri said.

Although the company has now returned to sponsoring Gor Mahia, Kenya Sevens, and the National Sevens Circuit, Karauri hopes to ensure that the Kenya Lionesses are also funded eventually should the company become financially stable.

“We were in a bad state when our business was shut down. We are still not where we were yet given even taxation rates have gone up, but as we move forward, if our business will prove to have a future and will be sustainable, our future will extend to all other teams that are under the Kenya Rugby Union. Our girls need to keep having hope and have the morale to keep working hard. We are very proud of them. We will support them when the time is right. We admittedly do not have the ability right now,” – he added.

Source: pulsesports.co.ke

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