There is no single doubt that football is on the rise in Kenya. This can easily be attributed to various factors which among them includes sponsorship. Other indicators of the growth of Kenyan football scene is the presence of new investors, government support among others. Kenya in the last five years has witnessed great infrastructural development than never before. Development of sports infrastructure can be attributed to the hard efforts of county governments and other key stakeholders.
In this particular article, we take you through some of Kenya’s highest sponsored teams. We measure the weight of sponsorship based on the financial support the club receives and the number of partners. Last but not least, we take a look at the fan base a club commands and the performance in various leagues. The Kenyan top tier league is known as the BetKing FKF Premier League. Circumstances that led to the renaming of the league are those of sponsorship as well as the expiry of the mandate of the Kenya Premier League to run the league. The league is therefore run by the federation in partnership with the title sponsors.
The current league has a total number of 18 teams that contests for the league title. Among the 18 teams exists both the community, corporate and individually owned clubs. A keen look at the teams reveals clearly that the league is fast-growing and many people are starting to show interest in being part of the league. This follows entrant of new cooperate teams such as Bidco United and Wazito FC.
Below is the financial performance of the various teams.
There is literally no other way that Gor Mahia can miss to be the highest sponsored club in Kenya. Gor Mahia currently has a sponsorship deal with BetSafe who is their shirt sponsors. BetSafe sponsors Gor’s archrivals AFC Leopards as well. Through the sponsorship deal that is tipped to run for the next three years, BetSafe coughs 65 million each season for the league champions. The BetSafe deal alone makes Gor Mahia top the list of the highly sponsored clubs in Kenya.
Apart from their shirt sponsor, Gor Mahia enjoys financial goodwill from other partners that they closely work with. In October 2019, the club signed a partnership deal with Agro Chemicals and Food Company. The deal with the Kisumu based corporation is a five-year sponsorship deal. In signing the deal, the company hoped that they were going to use the huge fan base of the club to market their products. The club in the partnership is receiving Sh. 5 for each and every bottle of beer that the company sells. Gor again has a partnership with United Kingdom kit maker Umbro who supplies their kits.
Last week, the club entered into a partnership with Two Rivers Mall which now means that they have a secure place to train from. A well-equipped place. Gor Mahia proud itself as one of the clubs with a very huge fan base. That is always evident when the club is out on duties as behind them, there is usually the Green Army. With such a religious following, the club usually reaps big from the following, especially on match days. Gor Mahia makes about 30 million gate collection each season. Their other source of funding comes from CAF where they are regulars as well as league participation.
Just like their arch-rivals, AFC Leopards enjoys a relatively good sponsorship and partnership in Kenya. They tower above other clubs when it comes to financial viability. In their ranks, they have BetSafe who is their shirt sponsors. BetSafe pumps into the club a total amount of 55 million each and every season. Moreless like Gor Mahia, they have a partnership with Umbro who makes their kits.
AFC Leopard’s other sources of funds come from their recently launched merchandise shop. In the merchandise shop, they sell the club’s replica jerseys among other equipment. With documented membership of 1500 plus people, the club relies much more on the membership subscription in order to finance their activities.
Even though the number of their fans have really gone down compared to Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards still enjoys a good fan base. By attending matches that the club takes part in, the club occasionally enjoys healthy revenue proceeds from their matches. The club by virtue of playing in the top tier league just like other clubs receives a good portion of funds from the league sponsorship.
They also rely on donations and charity that comes from the political and business class within the country. This explains better their dalliance at the State House of Kenya where they are always the usual visitors. It’s from that goodwill that the president of Kenya, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta bought for the club a bus.
Wazito FC enjoys an undisclosed amount of sponsorship money. Going by their recent fancy nature of doing their business, the club is literally among the most sponsored teams in the top tier league. A former school team of the University of Nairobi, the club is currently owned by Aidos Keneen a cryptocurrency coin company. In the face of the company is Ricardo Badoer a no-nonsense Swedish citizen who is known for uttering unprintable words. The dollar billionaire since arriving at the club to take over its ownership has managed to transform the club that was on the verge of its extinction. He resuscitated the club when it had been related to the National Super League were through his support, the club gained a top-flight promotion. He went ahead to make big-name signings at the club. The big signings, however, struggled to fit at the club.
Sofapaka is another Kenyan club that enjoys huge financial support. The club currently has a sponsorship deal with Betika worth 35 million per year. The deal with the betting firm puts the 2009 champions at position four. Last year, the club was involved in a controversial sponsorship deal with an Asian company. Living 3D that signed a similar deal with now the defunct Sony Sugar FC was reported to be a match-fixing company. It is among the companies that are on the radar of FIFA and other investigative authorities around the globe. The deal was therefore aborted before it matured. Owned by businessman Elly Kalekwa, the club depends primarily on the pockets of its the owner for survival. Something that they have perfectly done for seasons now.
Like all other clubs in the top flight league, the club receives a good amount as subsidies from their league participation. Sofapaka doesn’t enjoy much support from the fans as they barely control fans in the top league. They are therefore not able to reap anything much from their fans.
Kakamega Homeboyz FC
Homeboyz as its fondly known is a Kakamega based football club. The club is owned by a tycoon businessman in Kakamega County known as Cleophas Shimanyula alias Toto. Despite being a private club, the club enjoys good financial support from the county government of Kakamega. In the last financial year, the County Assembly of Kakamega voted in 25 million towards the club. This might have been as a result of the deep networks that the club owner enjoys in Kakamega County.
Apart from the financial aide that the club enjoys, the club enjoys the presence of Bukhungu Stadium which they normally use as their home ground. Homeboyz enjoys a good fanbase in Western Kenya more so in Kakamega town. This often draws in huge crowds that turn up to cheer them up whenever they are playing. The club therefore regularly depends on the gate revenues to remain financially viable. Owned by a powerful tycoon, the club as well enjoys the deep pockets and the huge link that the owner of the club has.
We lead in having great sport discussions, kindly keep in touch with us at VoR Sports.