QA Venue Solutions Rwanda has signed the biggest arena naming rights deal on the African continent with BK Group, a holding company with four subsidiaries: Bank of Kigali Plc, BK General Insurance, BK TecHouse and BK Capital Ltd.
The agreement, worth $ 8 million, provides the holding company, with naming rights to the venue formerly known as ‘Kigali Arena’. The 10,000-seat venue will be known as ‘BK Arena’ with immediate effect for the next 6 years. This was announced during a press conference held at BK Arena.
The agreement, signed between QA Venue Solutions, BK Group and the Government of Rwanda, will set the benchmark for the future of venue management and sponsorship in the industry.
BK Group CEO, Dr Diane Karusisi, noted that the naming rights partnership was part of the Bank’s strategy to get closer to its customers.
‘’We are proud to see our name on the iconic BK Arena through this partnership with QA Venue Solutions and the Government of Rwanda. At BK Group, we are constantly devising strategies to get closer to our customers and today we are starting an exciting partnership that will strengthen BK Group’s positioning in Rwanda and on the continent, and allow sports and entertainment fans to enjoy the best experiences while also promoting cashless payments’’.
BK Arena will become a platform for both local and global athletes, promoters, entertainers and other industry players to perform at the highest level.
Inaugurated in August 2019 and managed by QA Venue Solutions since 2020, the multi-purpose BK Arena has successfully hosted sold out concerts headlined by international artists, provided the venue for international conferences and has welcomed the 2021 and 2022 Basketball Africa League (BAL) Finals among other events.
The 10,000-seating capacity BK Arena can host live concerts, sporting events, beauty pageants, gala dinners, product launches, exhibitions and much more. With the BK Arena comes a host of meeting rooms, open spaces and VIP Suites. With its state-of-the-art facilities, BK Arena is the ideal home for Africa’s events and sports industry.
Commenting on what the naming rights partnership means for the industry, QA Venue Solutions Director, Kyle Schofield, noted:
“We are investing 100% of this deal back in the industry, developing talent and investing in the overall infrastructure by implementing international systems and standards to not only benefit the fans but also partners and other industry players across various levels. This game-changing naming rights deal, which we aim to implement across the multiple African venues that we manage, is proof that QAVS’s revolutionary venue management model works.”
BK Arena could not have become a reality without the support of the Government of Rwanda. With sports and entertainment tourism becoming more and more central to the government’s MICE strategy, QAVS and BK Group easily received government buy-in for the partnership.
Zephanie Niyonkuru, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Rwanda Development Board had this to say about the investment:
“The Government of Rwanda is happy to be a partner in this deal. Since its inauguration in August 2019, the arena has hosted several successful events that have provided lots of opportunities for Rwandans. With this new sponsorship from BK Group, we hope that the BK Arena will continue to position Rwanda as an African hub for sports and entertainment. We expect to bring the best of events from around the world to Rwanda, which will ultimately boost the tourism sector.”
As part of the deal, Bank of Kigali – a BK Group subsidiary, will be firmly established as a future-facing bank that provides cutting edge digital products and services to its clients. With a special focus on the youth market, the bank will act as a conduit to the rest of the world through financial inclusion. The flagship product of this new era is the BK Arena Prepaid card that will allow the unbanked youth to easily load money onto a prepaid wallet that can be used like any other bank card. To make the BK Arena card easier to acquire, BK accounts will not be a prerequisite to owning a card.