Because of the huge profits collected, betting companies can be rated among the best sponsors. Most of the sponsorships from betting companies go to sports promotion and support.
The revenue made by Kenyan betting companies, however, is not enough to invest huge amounts in local sports. Despite this, some Kenyan betting companies are making an effort to promote local sports. SportPesa and Betin were the biggest investors in Sports in Kenya but the sector has been suffering since their exit.
These two companies were investing so much in Kenyan football that the sector is crippled in their absentia. Current betting companies are careful on their tracks and do not want to suffer the same fate as the other companies.
Even though these companies are looking to sponsor local sports, they have to be careful not to be on the wrong side of the law. Odibets is one of the existing companies trying to support local sports. The betting firm’s country marketing manager said they have been very careful with their every move since the crackdown.
“Oh, as Odibets we don’t want to mess with the laws of the day,” Aggrey said. “We have seen how they can tackle you adding that their licence is validated as they continue to abide by the rules and laws set by the regulators, parliament and tax authorities.”
A number of premier league clubs have signed deals with some local betting companies in Kenya. One of the currently leading betting firm, Odibets, chose to invest in Grassroot football. The betting company has put a focus on Grassroot partnership deals with ordinary football clubs.
Aggrey Sayi said that the kits initiative has been the company’s first step towards promoting local football. The company was previously sponsoring Premier League side Mathare United before starting the kits initiative which has achieved milestones in its first year.
“A lot of Kenyan football teams (KPL) have deals with gaming companies similar to what we had with premier league side Mathare United last year. The Odibets kits initiative is a grassroot movement that seeks to connect and associate with ordinary football teams across the country as our name suggests,” Sayi noted.
However, he hinted at a possibility of the company sponsoring a premier league team in the future.
“We want to be associated with “ordinary” brands in the grassroots although we cannot rule out partnerships with bigger teams,” Sayi added.
Odibets is also working with former Harambee Stars coach, Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, through his organisation Atotos. The partnership is set to help upcoming stars showcase their talent to Swedish football scouts. Mulee has a keen interest to help football starts at the grass-root level.