Kenya hosted the 5th edition of the Absa Kip Keino Classic on April 20, 2024 at the Moi International Stadium Kasarani in Nairobi and presented full action-packed athletics.

The competition is the only Continental Gold Tour Series track and field meet sanctioned by the World Athletics on African soil and pulls top local and foreign athletes and huge crowds.

Absa Bank Kenya has played a key role in developing sporting talent by sponsoring athletics events like Kip Keino classic, golf and football (by sponsoring the English Premier League).

Its huge investment in sports in the last 10 years is evidence of the pivotal role the corporate sector can play to uplift sports locally through offering badly needed support.

In 2024, Absa spent a staggering Sh40 million in a title sponsorship deal to cater for the preparations, publicity, hospitality and promotion for the 5th edition of the Kip Keino Classic.

In 2023, Absa forked Sh60 million, double the Sh23 million it pumped into the 2022 event, even as the world-class event continues attracting top athletics talent locally and abroad.

The Absa Kip Keino Classic, which was launched in 2020, has uplifted the profile of athletics across the country and all cadres of athletes have motivated the next generation of runners.

Kip Keino meet director Barnabas Korir, Commonwealth 800m champion Mary Moraa, then Sports PS Jonathan Mueke, sprinter Wiseman Were, and Absa Bank Kenya MD Abdi Mohammed during a cheque presentation for the 2023 Kip Keino Classic. PHOTO/ABSA 

Absa Group’s fresh sponsorship for the 2023-2024 season of the English Premier League (EPL) enables the Kenyan and global fan to celebrate the abilities of players, teams and fans.

The bank says its interest in sports is part of its ambition to become systemically rooted in countries in which it operates to promote sustainability and create a lasting social impact.

In 2023, Absa Bank Kenya also sponsored the Magical Kenya Open (MKO) golf to the tune of Sh70 million as the Official Presenting Partner based on its long-term commitment to sports.

In 2024, the bank raised its investment in the MKO to Sh75 million, with Sh55 million of it set aside for Kenya Open Golf Limited’s Local Organising Committee to ensure its success.

The balance went to improving the overall experience for lovers of golf as the company continues to enhance national development through sports tourism, talent and enterprise.

Absa Bank Kenya MD Abdi Mohamed, Magical Kenya Open Tournament Director Patrick Obath, Sports CS Ababu Namwamba and Sports PS Peter Tum. PHOTO | COURTESY

To spice it all up, Absa Bank Kenya also hosts EPL watch parties for top media personalities and football fanatics, with the recent one held at the Nairobi Street Kitchen in Westlands.

At the May 19, 2024 watch party, Arsenal and Manchester United fans had loads of fun and exchanged banter as they imbibed their favourite drinks and nibbled on luscious roasts and fries and others won some cool merchandise at the end of the clash by the two English sides.

Courtesy of #TheAbsaAssist, Absa Bank Kenya also held similar watch parties for its clients in several regions across the country including Meru, Kisumu, Eldoret and Mombasa counties.

Sports fans led by Chebet Nanjala and Katami Michelle during the May 19, 2024 watch party at Nairobi Street Kitchen. PHOTO | COURTESY

Such support for local sporting activities by corporate entities like Absa helps unlock varied socio-economic activities to spur creation of job opportunities while also uniting all Kenyans.

Absa estimates that it has pumped about Sh1.3 billion into the local sports sector in the last 10 years alone, which it says is testament of the its commitment to nurture sports in Kenya.

Wish such huge and reliable investment in athletics, golf and football each year, Absa Bank Kenya has a set the bar very high for corporate players in supporting sports development.

The model sports sponsorships, if emulated by all corporate players, has the potential to employ more youth, lifting the quality of sports in Kenya and spurring economic growth.