7th September 2022, Nairobi, Zug
Kenya Rugby Union has signed a 5-year partnership BLOCKSPORT AG, a leading Swiss sports tech solutions provider, to create the full digital ecosystem with the launch Fan Engagement App, Fan Token and NFTs as World’s first rugby union to fully embrace the power of blockchain technology and tokenization for the benefit of the Kenyan rugby and Kenyan sport as a whole. This is the world’s first when it comes down to the entire digital ecosystem as many rugby and other sports unions have opted for a silo effect by signing up with multiple partners in a way that does not connect the dots.
By signing this 5-year partnership, KRU has positioned itself as the first rugby federation in the world to fully embrace the power of blockchain technology, digitalisation, and tokenization. The partnership aims to develop new digital ways for fans to be more involved with the national team starting with the launch of a new interactive app for fans which will see engagement and digitalization go beyond the borders of Kenya and the African continent. It will be followed by the launch and release of KRU’s NFTs, as well the national team’s own Fan Tokens which will be utility based, hence totally non speculative. The Kenya national rugby union Sevens Men team popularly known as the Shujaa have played at the past five Rugby Sevens World Cups, reaching the semi-finals in 2009 and 2013, and are one of the core teams competing in every tournament of the annual World Sevens Series. Just last week, the Lionesses put up a spirited fight in the World Sevens Challenger Tournament in Chile emerging fourth and continuing to win many global fans for their scintillating display. The Simbas (Men’s Fifteen-a-side) were runner-up in the Rugby Africa Cup and are now preparing for the Final Qualification Tournament for
next year’s Rugby World Cup in France. Early this year, the Simbas made their debut appearance at the Currie Cup First Division competition in South Africa, one of the oldest and most prestigious rugby tournaments in the world. These teams have won many global fans with their exceptional displays despite limited resources. This partnership opens new platforms for the global fan base that the Kenyan national teams have attracted to consistently engage with the teams and players while allowing the KRU to fully exploit emerging commercial opportunities for the benefit of the game.
While trading fan tokens might be great, Blocksport brings something a little different to the table. It is currently the only company that offers non-speculative utility fan tokens, specifically designed to drive real fan engagement. Several top-tier clubs and unions are leveraging these tokens to create digital memberships that give fans exclusive perks depending on their membership level. Fans get real value and engagement based on their level, while teams get to build loyalty and cash in on new revenue streams.
Oduor Gangla, Chairman of the Kenya Rugby Union, said;
“I am honoured and proud with the fact the Kenya Rugby Union will be the first rugby federation in the world with a fully completed digital ecosystem which will not only benefit our national teams but our club rugby fans too. You often read in the press how American, Asian, English, German sports leagues and federations go ahead of the curve in this space and announce commercial arrangements that further benefit their already well run and funded sports infrastructure. However I feel this is a turnaround for this part of the world, which has historically been full of potential and talent, The KRU has recognised this potential and is prepared to open up new frontiers in the digital space which in return will make us stand out from the crowd and attract investment not only into our rugby industry but our athletes too. I would like to thank my team for working relentlessly over the past few months and bringing this solution based out of Switzerland and the world’s most regulated and transparent crypto valley, Zug, to our attention. I very much look forward to the next steps and the journey ahead.” We are humbled and grateful that Blocksport has agreed to work with the KRU in this transformative project.
Samir Ceric, Chief Operating Officer of Blocksport said:
“I am very excited about the fact that we are breaking into the African sports market with such an African rugby heavyweight, the Kenya Rugby Union. From the moment I met the KRU team and its Chairman Mr Oduor Gangla, it was evident to me that they understood the true potential blockchain technology brings to the table. They also recognised the fact that Blocksport was a different kind of sports
tech company, a company that understood the sport in a different way to other industry players. I can safely say that it is great to be talking the same language, i.e. us at Blocksport and our new partner, KRU. As a former Chairman of a football club, I often talk about the importance of one’s fan base and how much more fans today expect of their beloved clubs and national teams in all major professional sports and it is great to meet like-minded individuals operating and managing globally successful rugby teams such as the Simbas, Shujaa, Lionesses and Chipu. We are looking forward to many more successful partnerships in Africa and are thrilled with the partner we are starting our African journey with. And what a great timing to do
so, with a serious chance of the Simbas competing at the next Rugby World Cup in France as well as the Shujaa participating in this year’s Rugby 7s World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa. ”
The Future Is Now: Generation Y and Z are the new faces of fandom. Understanding their needs and tailoring one’s brand for the digital realm presents new opportunities for engagement. It is the key to making them feel more connected to one’s club, national team and the chosen sport. When fans are happy, it is also a victory for the club or national team they support. Blockchain gives sports clubs, leagues and football and other sports associations the chance to do just that.
Ngárua Kamuya, Chief Executive Officer of 270 Degrees Sports said:
At the crux of every sporting organization is its fanbase. It is the fan who buys the tickets to watch the games, it is the fan who buys your merchandise, it is the fan who invest in the organization. From the inception of our relationship with Kenya Rugby Union, it has been apparent that they have wanted to commercialise their assets, and they have realized that the way to do this is putting the fan at the centre. This partnership with Blocksport is timely and natural, in my opinion. Building a fan engagement app for a Union that has a global fanbase is incredible, and we look forward to this partnership. We want to thank Lindi Ngwenya and Charles Cardovillis,
together with the teams at Kenya Rugby Union and Blocksport for making this a reality. The next 5 years will definitely be an exciting time for Kenya Rugby.
About Kenya Rugby Union
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) is the governing body for rugby union in Kenya. It was founded in 1970 and is affiliated to Rugby Africa and the international governing body World Rugby. KRU is responsible for the running of the Kenya national rugby union teams (Lionesses, Shujaa, Chipu and Simbas), domestic club’s competitions and school rugby competitions. The union’s current residence is at the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi, Kenya. KRU currently comprises of 3 leagues, the Kenya Cup, the Championship and the Nationwide. The KRU also hosts the prestigious international invitiatonal tournament, the Safari Sevens.