SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri has said the company will gradually get back to top sports sponsorships after making the first step in returning to sponsoring record FKF Premier League champions Gor Mahia.
The company which has returned to full operations will sponsor K’Ogalo for a tune of 80mn a season after signing a one-year deal, with a further two renewable.
“We are the kings of sports and we got our legs cut off but we are happy to be back. We will make sure we get back to where we were before. This is the start of our partnerships with sports,” Karauri said, on the sidelines of the unveiling of the sponsorship deal with Gor on Friday evening at the Sarit Centre.
He added; “We will get back to sports slowly and that includes getting back to grassroots. Development is important for us and we want to go to the grassroots as well. Before we used to bring coaches from Arsenal and all those places to train coaches and we will get back there, but it will take some time.”
Meanwhile, Karauri says they did not stop sponsoring sports because of what was then stated as draconian tax measures, but says they were pushed out.
Before they walked out on sports, Sportpesa were sponsoring the two biggest clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, the FKF Premier League as well as an array of sporting events ranging from motorsports to boxing.
They were also spreading their wings outside the country and were sponsoring Everton in the Premier League, Hull City in the English Championship, Cape Town City in South Africa as well as Simba, Yanga and Singida United in Tanzania.
“The reason we stopped sponsoring Gor Mahia and sports is because we were closed and we were closed because of strange interests. The real story of SportPesa will be told in the coming months and everyone will understand,” he said.
Karauri added; “Now we have a new government in place. At that time there were lots of interest. We were closed down unfairly. Right now there are many pending cases in court but in due time I will tell the story. We were closed down unprocedurally but now we are back. People can try imitate what we did but their hearts are in it.”