Everton FC has thanked gaming company SportPesa for the part it has played in helping the English Premier League (EPL) side grow its brand in Africa; this coming after both parties decided to put an end to their partnership that has been in existence since 2017.
Everton FC announced on Sunday that it had reached an agreement to terminate its shirt sponsorship deal with SportPesa at the end of the current 2019/20 season. Sighting that the decision is in line with “its commercial strategy, vision and future growth plans”.
In the entirety of the deal, Everton FC has had the chance to play twice in the continent, in 2017 in Tanzania and 2019 in Kenya. In 2017, they went up against Gor Mahia, winning 2-1 and in 2019 they lost on post-match penalties to Kariobangi Sharks after a 1-1 draw.
They also hosted Gor in a reverse fixture in 2018 at their Goodison Park grounds in Liverpool England and won 4-0.
In a statement to confirm the termination, the Merseyside club highlighted the two visits to East Africa that have helped in strengthening its appeal in the continent.
“This has been a difficult decision but one that allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan and to grasp the new opportunities now open to us.
“The Club would like to thank SportPesa for all of the work that has been done together. Our partnership has seen our first team visit Africa on two occasions, as well as former players and Club staff take part in numerous activations in the region. This has allowed us to grow our own footprint in Africa and further strengthen our special relationship with the continent.”
On the flipside, Everton’s decision is a big blow to local football in Kenya which has had a facelift with the visits of clubs like Everton and Hull City despite the financial difficulties that have plagued the game for the last couple of seasons.
SportPesa pulled out of its sponsorship deals with the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards in 2019 after being forced to close shop due to new taxation laws enforced by the Kenyan government on the gaming industry.
SportPesa however still remain as shirt sponsors for English Championship side Hull City.