Rugby Rugby

Sevens team in mega Kenya Airways $2.9m deal


NAIROBI, Kenya, October 31 – The national rugby sevens team received a bumper $2.9m (Sh290,000,000) sponsorship deal when Kenya Airways renewed its commitment to the side on Monday.

The package will see the carrier pay monthly salaries to 18 players and four technical bench officials in a scheme to make most of the squad members who hold other employment or are studying commit themselves to the team.

To further encourage the team, the agreement includes the payment of bonuses to commensurate to progression in each leg of the IRB World Sevens Series.

For a series win, each member of the squad will receive a $5,000 (Sh500,000) pay out with $3,000 (Sh300,000) for final appearance with $2,000 (Sh200,000) and $1,000 (Sh100,000) per head set out for semi and quarter-final appearances.

“We want to bring back the glory of the National 7’s Rugby team,” noted Kenya Airways Group Human Resource Manager Alban Mwenda.

“To encourage them to aim for the top, we have worked out this bonus structure in consultation with the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) so that players can be rewarded for the advances that they make in the series.”

The package will also see all players in the team granted comprehensive annual medical cover in addition to providing tickets to the squad for its IRB World Series campaigns.

“We have renewed our commitment to the team since we first entered into this partnership two years ago and we appreciate that one of the major challenges relates to ensuring that our team is made up of professionals who play rugby and earn a living from it.

“It is for this reason that we saw it fit to ensure that our sponsorship includes a monthly allowance that will allow the players to concentrate on the sport.”

Speaking at the announcement ceremony, KRU chair, Mwangi Muthee stated, “This team belongs to the Kenyan people and it is our responsibility to keep developing it team so that we become a world class team.

“Our competitors are knocking on the door and it is up to the team to make themselves worthy of the investment that Kenyans are putting in them so that they remain at the top.”

The side will be in action during the annual Safaricom Sevens that runs in Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium from Friday to Sunday where they will hope to toast to one of the largest ever sporting sponsorship deals in the country’s history by defending their crown.

The $2.9m Kenya Airways deal easily trumps the $1.1m (Sh110m) package beer manufacturers East Africa Breweries Limited through their Tusker brand are set to announce for national football team, Harambee Stars.