It was a magical night for SportPesa when the leading gaming firm rose to the podium to accept two major trophies at the prestigious Discovery Sports Industry Awards gala held in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday.
Kenya’s biggest investor in sports carried the day in the Best African Sponsorship for its support of the grassroots league Super 8 in partnership with local organization Extreme Sports Limited.
SportPesa’s campaign ‘Made of Winners’ then won the gong in the Pan African Campaign of the Year category and came second overall on the night to New Balance who took home five awards.
It was a solid return from the glittering black tie ceremony that pooled leading international brands involved in sport with SportPesa submitting three entries under the Best African Sponsorship category.
SportPesa’s support for Super 8 started in February 2015 and in only eight months the competition had grown into a fully-fledged league.
The competition features estate teams and has helped unearth raw talent for some of Kenya’s top league clubs the latest being Zidane Ochieng.
The other two were for its support to Kenya men and women national football teams; Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets who made history last year when they debuted at the Africa Womens’ Cup of Nations tournament held in Cameroon. Stars are unbeaten in their last 11 matches.
This is the second consecutive year that SportPesa has prevailed over Barclays, a multinational bank which was a finalist in the Best Sponsorship category for its support of the Premier League, that is the top-tier club competition in England.
SportPesa also beat integrated communications giant Safaricom which was on the shortlist for sponsoring the annual Safaricom Lewa Marathon.
The company’s ‘Made of Winners’ campaign beat Barclays Bank’s ‘Switch to Better’ rallying call.
The ‘Made of Winners’ campaign endears people to the SportPesa brand where consumers on its platform make everyone, from players to the entire community, winners.
SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri attributed the company’s success to its clients and staff, thanking them for their support since its inception in Kenya in 2014.
“This has been made possible through the support of our customers, SportPesa staff and strategic partners in our endeavor to grow sports in Kenya and other regions.
“This is not only a win for Kenya but a win to Africa and global fraternity. It has not been an easy journey but the lives we have changed inspires us daily giving us assurances that we are on the right track,” Karauri added.
The DSIA awards celebrate excellence in the sports industry, honouring the people and corporates behind the growth and success of various sports initiatives globally.
Since it launched into the country three years ago, SportPesa has offered support to several sports organizations across various disciplines including motor sports, boxing, football and rugby among others.
It currently supports the four most popular football clubs in East Africa; Kenya’s Gor Mahia FC and AFC Leopards SC as well as Dar-es-Salaam based titans Tanzania’s Simba SC and Yanga SC.
The company is also credited with the revitalization of boxing in Kenya after its partnership with the Boxing Association of Kenya led to an increase in the number of teams per leg from below 10 to at least 16 teams at each round.