Kenya Breweries Ltd (KBL), through its flagship beer brand Tusker, has announced a sponsorship deal worth Ksh. 15 million to the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) in support of the forthcoming Safari Sevens and Victoria Cup rugby tournaments.
The partnership marks yet another chapter in Tusker’s storied history with the sport of rugby, a journey that began in the early 1990s when Tusker Lager first took up the title sponsorship of the Safari Sevens.
The Safari Sevens, which returns after a hiatus since 2021, is scheduled to captivate fans at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds, Ngong Road, Nairobi, from November 17th to 19th.
The sponsorship will also cover the upcoming Victoria Cup, slated for 11th November 2023 in Kisumu. The encounter is the second leg of a thrilling showdown against Uganda, following the first leg held which is set to be held in Kampala on 5th November. The tournament last graced the rugby stage in 2019.
Speaking during the sponsorship presentation at the RFUEA Grounds today, KBL Managing Director Mark Ocitti expressed the brand’s deep commitment to the sport during the sponsorship presentation held at KBL headquarters in Ruaraka.
“On behalf the KBL, we are delighted to announce this sponsorship to the Kenya Rugby Union to support the upcoming Victoria Cup and the Safari Sevens tournaments. Our investment signifies our unwavering dedication to the growth and development of rugby in Kenya, both in the present and the future.
We are determined to continue working hand-in-hand with KRU to return the Safari Sevens and Kenyan rugby in general to its former glory. Our sponsorship is not merely an investment; it’s a testament to our belief in the potential of Kenyan rugby.
Through this partnership, we aim to reignite the passion and excitement that rugby has always brought to our fans. This is not just about sports; it’s about the pride and unity that rugby brings to our nation,” he said.
He further assured fans of an exceptional experience at the upcoming tournaments: “As we have consistently demonstrated in our previous rugby engagements, rugby enthusiasts can consistently anticipate outstanding experiences at rugby matches, courtesy of Tusker. Our goal is to create memorable moments, both on and off the pitch, that will resonate with fans and players alike.
We want everyone to feel the heartbeat of Kenyan rugby,” said Mr. Ocitti.
On his part, KRU Chairman Sasha Mutai, acknowledged Tusker’s continued support for the Safari Sevens and Victoria Cup tournaments, emphasizing the significance of this long-standing partnership in ensuring the events’ success:
“Tusker has been a steadfast partner, standing by Kenyan rugby in various capacities for many years. We are forever grateful for their continued support. The return of the Safari Sevens and the Victoria Cup represent a crucial step forward for rugby in Kenya. With the caliber of teams set to participate, we are all but assured of spectacular tournaments that will captivate the rugby fraternity. We urge all rugby fans in the country to come out in large numbers to support their favorite teams. Together, we will create unforgettable moments,” said Mr. Mutai.
Tusker has a long association with Kenyan rugby and has sponsored various teams and competitions over the years. This year, the brand sponsored the National Sevens Circuit to the tune of Ksh. 11.5 Million, partnering with host clubs to create an exciting experience for rugby fans and enthusiasts during the tournaments.
The Safari Sevens is an annual rugby sevens spectacle held in Kenya, attracting international representative sides, professional and amateur clubs, invitational teams, university, and school squads. So far, twelve teams have confirmed their participation in the Safari 7s men’s competition, with hosts Kenya presenting three sides – Shujaa, Morans, and KCB.
Additionally, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Germany, Qatar, Samurai, Red Wailers, Apache, and Tropic 7s have all confirmed their participation. The women’s event will feature five teams, including the two Kenya Lionesses squads, Uganda, TUKS Women, and Tropic 7s.