Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has today announced measures to support Eliud Kipchoge in his challenge to become the first-ever athlete to run a full marathon in under two hours.
The measures include a partnership with Kipchoge that will see the renowned athlete become M-PESA’s brand ambassador, where he will champion the service’s capability of empowering Kenyans to send and receive money both in the country and across the world.
The company will also provide a free YouTube bundle on the day of Kipchoge’s race. From 8 AM to 4 PM, all Safaricom customers can stream the race live on their phones at no cost. The bundle will be accessed by dialling *159#.
“We are honoured to renew our commitment with Eliud Kipchoge and to support him as he races against time,” said Michael Joseph, CEO, Safaricom. “As part of our support, we will be empowering any Kenyan across the country to stream the challenge for free, wherever they are.”
He said Kipchoge is a reflection of resilience and determination as he takes on the challenge.
To rally Kenyans to support Kipchoge, Safaricom will enable all its customers to send free messages voicing their support for the athlete during the race by sending a text to 159. The messages will be displayed live on broadcast TV feeds during the race.
Safaricom has also dedicated its iconic M-PESA brand in support of Kipchoge’s superhuman endeavour. Over the next seven days, the company will rebrand M-PESA to “Eliud 1:59” to commemorate the challenge.
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“The last few years have seen Kipchoge emerge not only as one of the greatest athletes ever, but also as one of the most accomplished people ever. It is a privilege to partner with him on this historic occasion and as an icon, it is only befitting to offer our M-PESA brand in his recognition,” said Mr Joseph.
Kipchoge’s partnership with Safaricom dates back to 2017 when the company launched its “Twaweza” brand campaign with the marathoner taking the role of brand ambassador.