When Bet9ja was announced as the official sponsor of the reality TV show, Big Brother Naija’s ‘Pepper Dem Season’, public interest was piqued, as the Nigerian renowned betting company was poised to gain global attention.
In January 2019, Bet9ja was announced as the sponsor of Big Brother Naija’s ongoing season, taking over from Eyo Bassey’s Payporte, a company that was reportedly facing a serious management crisis at the time.
Almost all sports betting enthusiasts and stakeholders are familiar with Bet9ja, but only a few of them know the company’s founder, Kunle Soname. Nairametrics founders profile features him this week.
What will interest you about the Bet9ja founder
Unlike the founders of other sports betting companies, Soname is a quiet investor. He is one of the very few billionaire investors in the country, who are silently allowing their work to speak for them with magnificent results.
Based on his near 100% stake in KC Gaming Networks Limited, the company that owns Bet9ja, it is safe to say that Kunle Soname’s net worth is around $100 million. Arguably, his success in the country’s sports industry is a yardstick for others who run sports businesses in Nigeria.
The sports magnate has not only been putting his money to work but has since been channelling his energy to sports activities right from his academic days. Soname played football and represented his school in several competitions such as The Principal’s Cup.
Soname, who hails from Remo in Ogun State, can be classified as one who takes pride in his roots. This is evident in his investment in a football club, Remo Stars FC. He became the first Nigerian to own a European football club in 2015 when he acquired a 70% stake in the Second Division Portuguese football club side, Clube Desportivo Feirens.
Being at the forefront of helping Nigerian leagues and clubs get sponsorships, the erudite sportsman is involved in football marketing across the country. He is a visionary who believes that Nigerian football can be more attractive to sports enthusiasts beyond the shores of the country, and at the same time be appealing to corporate brands.
Education and career milestones
Soname attended Federal Government College, Lagos for his secondary school education, and Lagos State University (LASU), where he studied Political Science and graduated 1996.
The sports tycoon was also involved in politics. He was elected as the Executive Chairman of Ikosi-Isheri Local Council, Lagos State between October 2003 and October 2011. It is important to note that during his time in office, he was instrumental to the building and reconstruction of the Boarder Stadium at Olowora, Isheri, Lagos.
In 2004, he founded Remo Stars Football Club (formerly known as FC DENDER of Lagos). The club, which was rebranded and relocated from Lagos, now plays in the Top Division of the Nigerian Premier League.
Advancing his investment portfolio in sports, Soname in 2015, acquired the Portuguese Second Division side, Clube Desportivo Feirense, owning 70% stake in the club.
Bet9ja covers all the major sporting events across Europe and the world at large. The sports betting company has become a household name in the country and is undoubtedly one of the leading brands in its industry.
Trading under KC Gaming Networks Limited, Bet9ja is licensed under the Lagos State Lotteries Board. After securing a sponsorship deal with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Bet9ja became the official sponsor of the Nigerian National League, Nigeria’s Second Tier Division.
As of last year, Soname’s Bet9ja was the second most visited website in Nigeria, according to Google. Owing to its high patronage, the company is helping to keep many Nigerian youths gainfully employed, as it has over 5000 agents all over the country.
Kunle Soname is happily married to Kemi Soname and their union is blessed with a daughter, Erioluwa.
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