Safaricom’s marketing and branding department will sink KSh.65 million into this year’s Athletics Series in direct cash sponsorship as well as marketing, event support and merchandise as the local championships turn five.

The Safaricom Athletics Series will feature a line-up of nine long distance races and three track and field events, bringing the total to 12 events this year.

Speaking during the launch Safaricom Director for Regional Sales and Operations Steve Okeyo said, “We have seen the powerful role that sports plays in uniting Kenyans, uplifting families and creating careers. Many of the current generation of athletics stars have participated in the Safaricom Athletics Series, with the likes of Conseslus Kipruto and Nicholas Bett actually catapulting their careers through this event and going on to represent Kenya at the 2016 Olympics,” said Mr. Okeyo.

Safaricom will also sponsor the IAAF World Under 18 Championships trials taking place in Nairobi from 12th – 16th July, a move the firm says is line with its continued investment in sports in Kenya.

Launched in 2013, the Safaricom Athletics Series helps identify and nurture sporting talent across the country and comprise of Kisii Half Marathon, Iten Road race, the Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (DAAK) events, the Mombasa International Marathon, Isaiah Kiplagat Memorial Ndalat (Nandi) and the Kisumu City National Marathon.