Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Albert Park, 2019

SportPesa sponsorship cancellations will not affect Racing Point F1 team

2019 F1 season

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Racing Point’s title sponsorship deal with SportPesa will not be affected by the Kenyan betting company’s decision to cancel several of its sponsorship programmes.

Several publications quoted a statement from SportPesa on Friday saying it “will be cancelling sports sponsorships effective immediately” and that “all clubs and partners will have received notices as provided for in their contracts.”

However RaceFans has established the statement applies only to the firm’s operations in Kenya. Its Racing Point deal is one of several international branding deals involving SportPesa, such as its sponsorship of the Everton English Premier League soccer team.

“It is with great regret that the Kenya CEO of Sportpesa has announced the discontinuation of all of the brand’s local, Kenyan based sponsorships and partnerships,” a SportPesa spokesperson told RaceFans.

“This decision has been made in light of continued illegal and unfounded actions against Sportpesa’s business in Kenya by the Kenyan government and regulators. This action by the government has for now removed the business case for our continued patronage in Kenya.

“None of Sportpesa’s sponsorships in the rest of the countries in which Sportpesa operates are affected by this change of policy and will continue as before.”

SportPesa is among a group of betting companies involved in a long-running dispute with the Kenya Revenue Authority over licences and taxes.

Racing Point’s SportPesa deal was first revealed by RaceFans in January. It was officially revealed by the team in its pre-season launch event the following month. The brand has a two-year deal to sponsor the team, with an option to continue for a third season in 2021.

Racing Point acquired its current title sponsor after the team, formerly known as Force India, was officially renamed following its takeover by a consortium headed by Lawrence Stroll last year.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 8 comments on “SportPesa sponsorship cancellations will not affect Racing Point F1 team”

    1. I hope that gambling advertising soon goes the way of tobacco in F1, as there is evidence that there’s no safe amount of either.

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/add.13178

      1. I’ve always been of the notion that if one product of vice has been banned (tobacco), then every product of vice should be treated the same.

        1. I’m sure Red Bulls are very good for you. So shouldn’t that be banned, too?

          1. JV, there have actually been times when Red Bull’s products were banned in certain countries because of health concerns over the additives that they included (France, Denmark, and Norway are amongst the countries which temporarily banned the sale of their drinks – indeed, for some time Red Bull had to change the composition of the drink they sold in France because of those health concerns).

          2. I think sugar has a safety threshold, where intake of up to certain amount will not lead to repeated/abusive consumption, which is what the article above discusses.

      2. @faulty lets ban brains, they are addicted to breething.

        1. I don’t think smokes, sports bets or snarky comments are necessary to life. What do you reckon?

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