Everton and Racing Point F1 split with bet firm SportPesa
(Reuters) - The Racing Point Formula One team and Premier League soccer club Everton announced the end of their sponsorship agreements with online betting firm SportPesa on Monday.
Racing Point unveiled their 2020 car in Austria with water technology company BWT as new title sponsor and SportPesa no longer listed among the partners.
Kenyan media quoted SportPesa, who became title sponsors only last year, as saying in a statement the company had decided to end the three-year deal due to a "new business strategy and sponsorship approach".
SportPesa had strong roots in Kenya but last September halted operations there due to a hike in taxes on betting stakes. The company has also cancelled its sports sponsorships in Kenya.
Everton said in a statement https://www.evertonfc.com/news/1612447/everton-to-end-its-partnership-with-sportpesa earlier on Monday that they were terminating a shirt sponsorship deal at the end of the current season.
The club had signed a five-year deal with the gaming brand in 2017 and said the decision was made after a review of the club's commercial strategy in line with future growth plans.
"This has been a difficult decision but one that allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan and to grasp the new opportunities now open to us," a club spokesperson said.
At Everton's annual general meeting last month, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said "in an ideal world" the club would prefer a different type of sponsor.
Of the Premier League's 20 clubs, 10 teams started the season with betting companies as shirt sponsors.
Last month, the Premier League's new chief executive Richard Masters said it would resist moves to ban clubs from having their shirts sponsored by betting firms.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru/Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Christian Radnedge)