Renowned politician Raila Odinga recently found himself at the center of controversy after a viral video showed him engaged in a gym session while sporting a dark blue training kit with the Sportpesa logo prominently displayed.
Critics took to social media, questioning Odinga’s association with the gaming firm and speculating whether he had become a brand ambassador for the betting company.
However, a closer examination of the situation reveals that the attire in question is not a generic Sportpesa endorsement but rather Gor Mahia’s third training kit.
Raila Odinga serves as the patron of Gor Mahia, the 20-time Football Kenya Federation Premier League champions, and Sportpesa is their official shirt sponsor.
The confusion arose from the viral clip shared by ODM Director of Communications Philip Etale on social media, where Odinga was joyously working out on a leg press machine in the sleeveless kit.
Many users criticized the perceived endorsement, accusing Odinga of being a Sportpesa influencer and questioning the financial implications of such a partnership.
“Handlers wa baba (Those who manage Raila’s programmes), why take video of him adorning Sportpesa branded merchandise. That is an endorsement, kubwa sana (Big endorsement,” wrote Erick Omollo Juma.
Some users even speculated about the amount Sportpesa might have paid Odinga for this alleged endorsement.
“How much did @Sportpesa pay him as an influencer?” posed @DaudiPhil
However, the reality is quite different. Gor Mahia’s third training kit, worn by Raila Odinga, features the Sportpesa logo prominently, along with the Gor Mahia emblem on the right side—a detail that many netizens missed.
It’s crucial to note that Sportpesa solidified its partnership with Gor Mahia through a significant three-year deal worth Sh240 million, officially signed on September 23, 2022.