Kenyans behind betting firm SportPesa say their recent move to sponsor English Premier League club Hull City is a strategy to penetrate the global market with 4.7 billion sports viewers.

They are seeking to ride on SportPesa’s increased brand visibility to push the mobile phone-based betting platform to four different continents by next year, alongside other African nations.

The principal owners of the company include former chairman of the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KAPA) Ronald Karauri, businessman Paul Wanderi Ndung’u and Asenath Wachera Maina – the entrepreneur behind the Shinda Smart lottery.

“The sponsorship deal is in a bid to make the brand international,” said a statement from Mr Karauri, who doubles as the company’s chief executive.

“In the next few weeks SportPesa sport betting will be available in Europe and other African countries,” he added.

The betting firm last week signed a £9 million (Sh1.2 billion) sponsorship deal with Hull City, which will run over over a three-year period.

The deal made it Kenya’s first company to sponsor a football team in the UK’s lucrative top flight premier league.

The three-year deal will see SportPesa’s name and logo on Hull City’s shirts when the next season begins this month. The company has also sealed a betting deal with Southampton FC.