EDITORIAL: Kenyan Corporates Should Stop Abandoning Local Sports Clubs

Earlier this week, giant power company, Kenya Power, sent shockwaves across the country after announcing it had suspended sponsoring all sporting activities.

The immediate casualties of this messy move are football clubs it sponsored namely  Western Stima, Nairobi Stima, and Coast Stima.

The most hit are the players who, literally, will be losing employment. And not only the players, but all those who depend on them will have to adjust accordingly.

The announcement follows an emerging trend that has seen various companies turn their backs on sports entities.

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In the Kenyan Premier League alone, three teams have already lost sponsors — Nzoia Sugar FC, Sony Sugar, and Chemelil Sugar are all struggling after their sponsors ditched them.

The situation is so bad that Sony Sugar was relegated in November 2019 after failing to honour three league matches, an offense that is only punishable by automatic demotion.

Chemelil on the other hand is bottom of the table with just one win this season while Nzoia is just three points above the relegation zone.

The move will not only add to the growing levels of unemployment but also reduces the value of the product that the said companies produce.

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This is a move that completely misses the trick from a corporates point of view and points to a lack of vision from the decision-makers.

Companies like SportPesa and Betika quickly rose to fame and their products grew as a result of their support to various sports firms including Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, and the Kenya Premier League.

Football fans trusted Betika and SportPesa as their go-to betting sites simply because they could feel the same level of trust from the companies.

They believed in their footballing projects and the fans warmed up to their betting platforms in return. It is a win-win situation.

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Besides, one of the key responsibilities from corporates is giving back to society so why are they shying away from their roles?

Counting on the government has proved futile thus far which is corporates making such career-ending decisions hurts in more ways than one.

In Simple terms, Corporates are the last hopes of rescuing the desperately needy sports business.

A winning business is one that is trusted by the public. One way of earning the trust of the masses is by investing in their ideas. This is why Corporates need to support sports at all costs

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