SportsPesa and Everton Football Club have been rewarded for their partnership at the Sports Industry Awards, in the Best African Sponsorship and Pan-Africa Campaign of the Year categories.
The sponsorship, which kicked off with Everton travelling to Dar es Salaam in July 2017 to play against SportPesa Super Cup winners Gor Mahia of Kenya, has been celebrated for bringing English Premier League football to East Africa for the first time.
It was the success of this captivating visit, referred to as “Everton in Tanzania”, that roused interest from the industry, resulting in the two awards which were announced at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Friday.
Mark Rollings, Head of Partnership Management at Everton Football Club, said: “We are delighted that our partnership with SportPesa has been recognised on such a prestigious stage as the Sports Industry Awards.
“These are the most recognised sports sponsorship and marketing awards in Africa, so to win both Best African Sponsorship and Pan-Africa Campaign of the Year is a testament to the strength of our partnership with SportPesa and their ethos as a partner.
“Everton has a proud history of African players and a special connection to the continent, so this is not only a proud day for the Club but also a demonstration of what the power of Everton can do for commercial partners in the region. Our two organisations have worked hand-in-hand to bring our partnership to life over the last 12 months and our work in Tanzania last season saw us break new ground together as the first Premier League team to play in East Africa, an event which captivated the whole of the region.
“To deliver what we have within the first 12 months of our partnership is a fantastic achievement, but we are now very much focused on looking forward to ensuring this partnership continues to go from strength to strength.”
SportPesa, a global online sports betting brand that originated in East Africa, is now active in Kenya, Tanzania, the UK, Italy and South Africa.
Tarimba Abbas, Director of Administration and Compliance for SportPesa Tanzania, added: “It’s great for SportPesa and myself to witness such an honour given to our company, the recipients of the awards.
“SportPesa is now a global company, and these awards will motivate us in our venture to participate in sports development in Africa, and the world at large.”
Speaking on the impact of hosting a game of this magnitude, Susan Mlawi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Arts, Culture and Sports in Tanzania, highlighted the importance of the award for East Africa:
“Being shortlisted and winning the Sports Industry Awards clearly shows the recognition of government support in promoting sports in Tanzania. The Ministry of Information, Arts, Culture and Sports applauds the organisers of these prestigious awards, administering successful selection.
“This reflects our stated commitment to develop sports in the country and the promotion of football to the next level, working towards our vision to lead Tanzanian and African football successfully. We are delighted to play our part in the development agenda for the sports industry in Tanzania.”
Everton’s fixture against inaugural SportPesa Super Cup winner Gor Mahia FC was hosted at the National Stadium in Tanzania in front of a sold-out stadium of 35,000 people. The game made East African history by being the first of its nature in Dar es Salaam.
SportPesa Premier League -Kenya champions Gor Mahia will travel to England in November 2018 to play Everton on their home soil after retaining the title of SportPesa Super Cup winners for the second successive season in another historic fixture with the club being the first East African club side to play in the UK.