KCB Puts Kshs 150M into 2023 World Rally Championship Safari Rally

KCB Bank Kenya will spend KShs. 150 million towards supporting the 2023 World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally, bolstering sports development and youth empowerment.

The Bank will be the Official Financial Partner for the Championship, scheduled to take place from June 22 – 25, 2023 in Nakuru County. This year’s edition marks the third year since the Safari rally returned to the World Rally Championship calendar.

Of the total sponsorship monies, Kshs 100 million will go directly to the 2023 WRC Safari Rally event while Kshs 50 million will support sponsorship of three local drivers, brand activations and customer engagements.

KCB has renewed its sponsorship to two Kenyan drivers, Evans Kavisi and Nikhil Sachania. Karan Patel will be joining the KCB sponsored team.

This announcement underlines KCB’s commitment to supporting motorsport in the country, having spent over KShs 1.5 Billion in the past 20 years, the highlight being the Safari Rally’s return to the global showpiece that is the World Rally Championships after a two-decade absence.

Speaking at the launch of the sponsorship, KCB Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Paul Russo said: "We take great pride in being part of East Africa’s motorsport story since 2003, when we first sponsored the Safari rally. This marks another chapter in our story and reiterates our commitment in supporting sports, as we celebrate the historic return of WRC Safari Rally to the Kenyan soil.”

“It is a great pleasure to see that our sponsorship over the years has resulted in the growth of motorsport in the region opening up the sport to many young talents.” Mr. Russo said.

In 2019, KCB became the Official Financial Partner for the Safari Rally Kenya for the World Rally Championship (WRC) Rally, with a 3-year commitment of KShs 250 Million starting with a WRC Candidate event staged in June 2019.

“We are putting together yet another massive rallying event to reinforce Kenya’s growing profile as a global sporting arena” said Hon. Ababu Namwamba, Cabinet Secretary, Youth Affairs, Sports, and the Arts.

KCB also announced a commitment towards promoting sustainability and care for the environment during sporting activities. “We are championing sustainability initiatives like tree growing, recycling, waste management in the run up, during and after the Safari Rally” said Mr Russo adding that KCB has joined hands with other partners in an initiative to plant 400,000 trees in several counties in the course of this year. Last year, through this partnership 700,000 trees were planted.

Renowned as the toughest round in the WRC calendar, the 2023 Safari Rally is expected to attract over 50 local and international drivers. World and Safari Rally defending champion Kalle Rovanpera of Finland leads a team of eight drivers who have confirmed their participation in the 2023 showpiece, so far.

WRC Safari Rally Local Organizing Committee chairman Carl Tundo said: "This renewed sponsorship will go a long way in ensuring that we host another successful WRC event. We expect a great spectacle this year as more high-level drivers look to take on the world’s toughest rally”.

This year’s edition will be flagged off from Uhuru park, with the routes and stages largely unchanged.

Sports May 19, 2023