Kenya: KBL, Magical Kenya Open Enter Into Multi-Million Partnership

Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), through its premium spirits brand Johnnie Walker, will be the Presenting Partner at this year's Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship.

The tournament, which is part of the elite European Tour, will be held from March 18 to 21 at Karen Country Club.

This year, 156 players are expected at the tournament, with over 30 countries being represented. They will include 12 Kenyan pros, with Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe being represented by a player each.

The sponsorship, amounting to Sh43 million, also extends to the Kenya Savannah Classic where KBL will be the Official Alcoholic Beverage Sponsor. The event, which is also part of the European Tour, will be held from March 23 to March 26, at the same venue.

Speaking during the announcement of the sponsorship, made at the Uhuru Park early on Wednesday, KBL Managing Director John Musunga noted that decision is founded on the Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship's growing stature, which resonates with KBL's goals, making it a strategic partner for the organisation.

"The stature of the Magical Kenya Open, on the global stage, continues to grow, gaining prominence and becoming entrenched as an integral part of the annual European Tour calendar. In the process, it continues to mirror KBL's goals and objectives, making it a natural partnership platform for us over the years," he said.

He further noted that the decision to grant Kenya two European Tour events this year is a testament to the growing stature of golf in the country, adding that the doubleheader will give Kenya credence on the global golf scene.

"Our hope, is that this can be replicated in the years to come, making this tournament an even more extraordinary spectacle on the world stage. In this regard, I am pleased to announce that KBL will be sponsoring both the 2021 Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship as the Presenting Sponsor and the Kenya Classic Savannah as the Official Alcoholic Beverage Sponsor to the tune of forty three million shillings (Sh43 million). At both events, KBL will be activating the sponsorship using the Johnnie Walker brand, a global iconic brand that has just celebrated 200 years."

KBL will also support local and regional golfers at the tournaments to meet their needs as they strive to adhere to the strict European Tour Covid-19 protocols. This support will be in terms of catering to their needs while they are restricted in the health and safety bubble across both events. As part of its offering, KBL will also reward local players who make the cut after the first two rounds of each tournament with Sh100,000 each.

A week ago, Kenya Vision 2030 offered Sh50,000 for each of the 12 Kenyan pros as well as the three regional players who qualified for both the Magical Kenya Open and the Kenya Savannah Classic.

Those making cut will take an additional Sh50,000 while also each player will receive Sh5,000 as caddy fee for the eight rounds. In addition to that, Vision 2030 will also reward the top three Kenyans/regional in which ever overall position they be placed, with Sh250,000, Sh200,000 and Sh100,000.

"As part of this sponsorship, we will have a hole-in-one prize for the first player to hole-out-in-one at the par-3, 16th tournament hole across both events, with the winners taking home our rarest, finest, and most beloved Johnnie Walker brands. I wish all golfers the very best as they try their luck at achieving this rare feat," said Musunga.

As both events will be closed to spectators, KBL plans to have activations at Sigona, Vet Lab, and Muthaiga Golf Clubs, allowing enthusiasts to follow the action live on TV.

On the other hand, the KBL boss said the company will also have activations at golf clubs spread out in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kericho counties to allow enthusiasts to follow the action from Karen Country Club live on the big screens while experiencing KBL hospitality as they would have had, had they been having the opportunity of being at Karen Country Club.

Kenya Open Golf Limited Director Francis Okwara lauded KBL for the partnership and supporting the tournament even during the difficult circumstances occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We are grateful to KBL for its partnership renewal for the 2021 Magical Kenya Open. This speaks of the brand's continued commitment to the growth and development of golf - and sports in general - in the country. We are pleased that KBL has continued to stand by us, even now, under tough Covid-19 restrictions and circumstances. It shows that, indeed, KBL is passionate about the growth of the tournament and sincere in its sponsorship," he said.

The events will be broadcasted to over 490 million homes and will locally be broadcasted to millions of households on free-to-air channels.

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