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Harambee Stars land KES 450 million sponsorship deal with StarTimes

03 July 2015, 09:27 Robert Kibet

Nairobi - StarTimes pay television will broadcast this weekend’s football match between the national soccer team Harambee Stars and Ethiopia in their debut for Africa Cup of Nations and Africa Nations Championships qualifiers debut match.

Through this, Harambee Stars join South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, becoming the second country in the African continent to have its national soccer team enjoying full sponsorship from a leading broadcaster.

Speaking at the official launch of a full broadcast and kitty sponsorship valued in excess of KES 450 million for a five year period at the Nyayo Stadium boardroom, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Sam Nyamweya said the national team has not had a serious sponsor for a very long time.

“The national team for a very long time hasn’t been having a serious sponsor. The sponsor they initially had when we came into office was Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) who were sponsoring about KES 30 million for five years,” said Nyamweya, adding that the amount which went to the federation then was very little.

He added, “We have been negotiating for about six months now and eventually this has come to pass.”

He reiterated that the federation will give full support to the StarTimes pay TV regarding all broadcasting rights except AFCON and World Cup qualifier matches and CHAN preliminaries.

“All the friendlies, CECAFA championships, kitting the national team and marketing will be handled by StarTimes,” said the FKF boss.

On his part, StarTimes Director of Sports Gary Rathbone said that the pay TV is trying to make a difference in local sport.

He further noted that every respectful broadcaster should give something respectful and of high quality to sports fans.

“Sponsorship will work in two ways. We put in money that will enable the national team to do more, to have more resources and to improve its game. We get that branding in recognition of that,” he added.

Having lost to the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia in the first leg played in Ethiopia, Harambee Stars will have a task ahead as they must win by three goals against the visiting team for the Bob Williamson’s boys to proceed for the CHAN qualifiers second round.

However, Nyamweya expressed confidence in Williamson saying the national team has been on track for the last few months.

“Bob Williamson has been with the national team since the beginning of the year. We played Congo Brazzaville, placed 46th in the world’s football ranking, and we drew with them. We are expecting Zambia in September. The way I see the team’s mood now is quite promising,” he noted.

While appealing to Kenyans to come out in numbers to support the national team when they host Walya Antelopes in the CHAN qualifiers on Saturday at Nyayo National Stadium, Nyamweya assured fans of better performance from the national team.

He said when Confederation of African Football (CAF) was looking for a broadcaster, FKF was given an option of either working with CAF and Sport 5 or doing it alone.

“Because we didn’t have StarTimes at that time, we were not ready to risk. Two countries in Africa are not with CAF and Sport 5. We were given an option but in future when we are given an option and we have StarTimes. I think we would have to renegotiate with CAF and FIFA,” said Nyamweya.

The announcement of the StarTimes sponsorships comes hot in the heels of the growing live soccer action on StarTimes following the company’s acquisition of exclusive broadcast rights for Bundesliga that kicks off on August 14, European qualifiers from August 10, International Champions Cup (ICC) from July 12, Beach Soccer from July 9 and the FIFA Under-17 world cup from October 17.

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- MyNews24

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