Nairobi, Kenya July 16: The Kenya Rugby Union has secured Stanbic Bank as the title sponsor of the twentieth edition of the National Sevens Circuit.
The announcement represents a major boost for the growth of the Rugby Sevens game as Kenya heads for the World Cup Sevens in San Francisco later this week.
As part of the deal, the tournament becomes the Stanbic Bank National Sevens circuit and will comprise Prinsloo Sevens, Sepetuka Sevens, Kabeberi Sevens, Driftwood Sevens, Dala Sevens, and Christie Sevens in Nakuru, Eldoret, Machakos, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nairobi counties respectively.
The sponsorship deal valued at ksh 9,000,000 will go towards aiding KRU and its partners plan and host the series for the next 10 weeks and will begin with the Prinsloo Sevens in Nakuru from July 21.
Kenya Rugby Union Chairman Richard Omwela said: “Kenya rugby has been going through a rough patch recently and it is good to see corporates such as Stanbic Bank who still believe in driving the growth of rugby in Kenya. The appointment of a market leader in the banking industry as the title sponsor of the National Sevens Circuit further enhances Rugby Sevens’ prominent stature as a national sport with significant prestige and attraction within the Kenyan marketplace.”
According to Charles Mudiwa, Stanbic Bank’s Chief Executive, the partnership goes beyond sponsoring the team and reflects the coming together Kenya’s iconic brands to promote a homegrown agenda.
“We are delighted to partner with KRU for this national sporting event. Rugby is a sport that has put Kenya on the global map and therefore this sponsorship is aligned to our corporate purpose of driving Kenya’s growth not only through provision of relevant financial solutions, but also enhancing shared value by supporting initiatives that Kenyans hold dear to their heart,” said Mr. Mudiwa.
Already in a long-term relationship with Kenya’s top tier Mwamba RFC, Stanbic Bank aims to continuously invest in growing and developing the game – helping build the next generation of rugby talent whilst growing the sport’s stature and fan experiences.
“The addition of the sevens circuit to our current rugby portfolio will allow the bank to further engage with rugby fans and our customers around the country. Our continued investment is tied to a noble ambition to build rugby from the grassroots level of the game and encouraging even more people to watch and play the sport,” said Mr. Mudiwa.
The National Sevens Circuit is an annual series of rugby sevens’ tournaments run by the KRU in conjunction with host clubs and features teams from across the country. Teams compete for the National Sevens Circuit title by accumulating points based on their finishing position in each tournament. It has proven to be the most consistent rugby tourney out of all the local rugby tournaments held annually, attracting over 3,000 rugby fans at each tournament over each weekend it is held. It is also a major promoter of domestic tourism with rugby fans following the tournament from town to town.
From Prinsloo Sevens in Nakuru this weekend, the tourney shifts focus to Eldoret for the Sepetuka Sevens at the Eldoret Sports Club a week later, followed by Kabeberi Sevens at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on 18th August. Mombasa will host the Driftwood Sevens on August 25th.