KQ and 7s part ways on Nov 30

Kenya Air­ways end team con­tract at the end of this month

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY WIL­LIAM NJU­GUNA @mbote­s­ports

Kenya Air­ways will con­clude its spon­sor­ship deal with na­tional Sevens team at the end this month.

The air­line has been the ti­tle spon­sor since 2010 and has so far spent over Sh900 mil­lion both in cash and in kind on the Kenya team.

Kenya Air­ways were given an al­ter­na­tive of tak­ing the back of the shirt with betting firm, Sport­Pesa com­ing on board as ti­tle spon­sors and tak­ing the front of the shirt but the air­line de­clined. The Sport­Pesa spon­sor­ship is worth Sh90 mil­lion a year for the shirt for the next five years.

Kenya Air­ways man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Mbuvi Ngunze, said the air­line en­tered into the part­ner­ship to grow the game and sup­port the play­ers—a move that it has achieved, con­sid­er­ing the re­cent per­for­mance of the team.

“Rugby Sevens has be­come a pop­u­lar sport, mak­ing it a ma­jor plat­form not just for mar­ket­ing Kenya as a des­ti­na­tion for sports tourism but also sup­port­ing Kenya to main­tain a higher pro­file in the coun­try and abroad

“We are proud of how far the sport has come with global in­ter­est in the Kenya team’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Sevens se­ries ris­ing by the day and ap­pre­ci­ate the de­ter­mi­na­tion of our sports per­son­al­i­ties which has ce­mented Kenya’s po­si­tion in the top tier of the World sevens se­ries cir­cuit.

Kenya Air­ways re­mains com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing sports in Africa,” said Ngunze. “We wish the team well in the upcoming world rugby se­ries,” added Ngunze.

Ngunze recog­nised the good re­la­tion­ship main­tained be­tween the air­line, Kenya Rugby Union as well as the Kenya sevens team and the plat­form this set up to drive sports spon­sor­ship in the coun­try.

KRU chair­man, Richard Omwela lauded the ef­forts of the air­line for the past six sea­sons. “We ap­pre­ci­ate the con­stant sup­port Kenya Air­ways has ac­corded the union and the team over the years as we have worked to­gether to see Kenya 7s grow from strength to strength. Through the years, we have seen young play­ers such as Biko Adema, Billy Odhiambo rise to be at the top of their game,” added Omwela.

He added: “The ef­fort of our boys in the world se­ries over the years has con­tin­ued to po­si­tion the air­line and our coun­try very strate­gi­cally in the world as well as in­creased aware­ness and in­ter­est among fans.”

Dur­ing their ten­ure as ti­tle spon­sors, Kenya Air­ways saw the team achieve two fi­nal­ist po­si­tions in the se­ries in Welling­ton in 2013 and a se­ries high of 99 points in the 2012-2013 sea­son; fin­ish­ing in the fifth place glob­ally.

The team won their maiden tour­na­ment in the Sin­ga­pore in April 2016, qual­i­fied for the Olympics and Collins In­jera was named the world’s lead­ing try scorer dur­ing the part­ner­ship.

/ENOS TECHE

Kenya team dur­ing the Sa­fari Sevens tour­na­ment at Kasarani in Septem­ber.

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