Everton to end SportPesa sponsorship early

Everton has announced it will end its sponsorship with SportPesa early.

Today, the English Premier League team Everton announced it will be ending its sponsorship with the online betting operator SportPesa, two years before the deal is due to expire.

The operator has served as the Everton’s main front-of-shirt sponsor since the start of the 2017-18 season after entering a fiver year agreement. Initially, the agreement between Everton and the operator was set to run to the end of the 2021-22 Premier League.

However, the team will now its partnership with SportPesa at the end of the current season in May.

Why did Everton make this decision?

The team did not disclose the reason behind the decision to end its partnership with SportPesa, however, the team did say the decision was made “following a comprehensive review by the club of its commercial strategy in line with its vision and future growth plans”.

In a statement, an Everton spokesperson said: “This has been a difficult decision but one that allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan and to grasp the new opportunities now open to us.

“The Club would like to thank SportPesa for all of the work that has been done together. Our partnership has seen our first team visit Africa on two occasions, as well as former players and Club staff take part in numerous activations in the region. This has allowed us to grow our own footprint in Africa and further strengthen our special relationship with the continent.”

Everton added it will be appointing a new main partner prior to the start of 2020-21 football season.

What has SportPesa been up to?

In September of 2019, SportPesa announced it would be halting operations in Kenya, the country where the operator is based, due to a dispute related to tax. After this announcement, the operator also announced it had made 453 of its Kenyan employees redundant after it stopped serving in the country.

SportPesa’s decision to withdraw from the market was due a controversial new tax rate which would tax players on their initial stake. SportPesa was one of several operators that challenged the controversial tax rate.

In November 2019, the Kenyan Tax Appeals Tribunal ruled in favour of betting operators and ruled that gambling tax should be levied on a player’s winnings instead of their original stake. This decision means that players in Kenya will be taxed on their gambling winnings at the end of every month. This decision could provide an opportunity for SportPesa to reenter the Kenyan market.

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