Formula One team Racing Point has completed a major two-year sponsorship agreement with Kenyan bookmaker SportPesa, according to industry outlet SportBusiness.
The report states that the deal will see the online gaming brand pay an annual fee of less than US$15 million, which is what Best Water Technology (BWT) had paid the team’s previous owners to become a principal partner, while the team was still known as Force India.
A source close to the team told SportBusiness that negotiations had seen Racing Point looking for a first-year payment between US$10 million and US$12 million, with a second-year increase to a fee in the region of US$13 million and US$15 million.
It had previously been reported by motorsport website RaceFans.net that the Kenyan gambling firm would pay US$8 million in the first year of the arrangement, followed by US$10 million in 2020, with the possibility of a one-year extension worth a further US$12 million.
The report does not confirm whether the arrangement includes the title sponsorship rights to the team, but it does state that the team’s cars will alter their racing livery to a combination of pink and blue in accordance with the betting firm’s logo. The pink colour remains, with BWT continuing as a major sponsor of the Lawrence Stroll-owned team.
Canadian billionaire Stroll acquired Force India in August in a deal that took the team out of administration.
Since its launch in 2014, SportPesa has become Africa’s leading sports betting platform, and is renowned for being a community-focused company.
The partnership with Racing Point is by no means the brand’s first venture into the sports sponsorship industry, with Premier League soccer club Everton agreeing a UK£48 million (US$61.8 million) deal with the gaming firm in 2017 that runs through 2022.