English Premier League giants Arsenal Football Club, on Saturday got into a partnership with betting firm SportPesa, which could deal a huge boost to football in Kenya.
Arsenal FC agreed to provide coaches who will conduct five-day training camps in Kenya twice a year, in a bid to nurture football talent in the grassroots as well as enhance player and coach development.
Sportpesa Chief Executive Officer Ronald Karauri, hailed the deal signed at Emirates Stadium in London, noting that it would go a long way in ensuring Kenya realizes the dream of reaching World Cup 2022.
“The deal entails achieving our dream of taking Kenya to 2022 World Cup. The partnership will see talent scouts from Arsenal identify good footballers.
“The camps will be hosting 100 players but we have not come up with the procedure of player selection. We will find a way of identifying the people who will be involved in the project so that we don’t leave anybody out,” SportPesa CEO stated.
Arsenal fans in Kenya will receive a range of club-related benefits, which include; official merchandise and match tickets to see the team in action at Emirates Stadium.
“With such a deal, Arsenal will be beneficiaries because we will have free tickets to reward them each season. However, this is not Arsenal’s fans only because at the end of the day it’s about developing football in Kenya and the road to 2022,” Karuri added.
Football administrators in Kenya will be offered the opportunity to meet and learn from expert Arsenal staff responsible for stadium management and security, then bring the learnings back to Kenya to help develop their own facilities.
Arsenal Chief Commercial Officer Vinai Venkatesham, said they were delighted to have signed the deal with Sportpesa, noting that the club enjoyed a huge fan base in Africa and especially Kenya.
“We have launched our latest commercial partnership with SportPesa, and they become our first betting partner that Arsenal has ever had in Kenya where we have a large fan base.
“Grassroot development is important. We will send our very own coaches to Kenya to coach children and teach them play football in a style we call the Arsenal way,” Vinai Venkatesham stated.
The SportPesa boss further stated that he would be seeking to partner with other EPL clubs for more deals.
Sportpesa has continued to expand its territories in Kenya and beyond, having signed deals to sponsor both the Kenya Premier League and Gor Mahia football club.