Celebrating Kunle Soname: A Visionary Leader in Sports and Business

Kunle Soname, a remarkable sports visionary and successful entrepreneur, has made significant contributions to both Nigerian and international football. As the owner of Remo Stars FC in the Nigeria Professional Football League and the majority stakeholder of Clube Desportivo Feirense in Portugal’s second division, Soname has firmly established himself as a pivotal figure in the football world. At 56 years old, Kunle Soname hails from Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria. His deep connection to his roots is evident in his continuous investment and development efforts in his hometown. From his days at Federal Government College, Lagos, and later at Lagos State University, where he graduated with a degree in political science in 1996, Soname has always displayed a profound dedication to his community and country.

Soname’s political career saw him serve as the Executive Chairman of Ikosi-Isheri Local Council in Lagos State from October 2003 to October 2011. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the construction and renovation of the Border Stadium at Olowora Isheri, demonstrating his commitment to community development and sports infrastructure.

In the business arena, Soname is best known as the founder of Bet9ja, launched in 2003 under the traded name “KC Gaming Networks Limited.” The company quickly became Nigeria’s leading sports betting platform, licensed by the Lagos State Lotteries Board and headquartered in Lagos. Bet9ja’s innovative approach and Soname’s strategic vision have revolutionized the sports betting industry in Nigeria, making it a household name.

Soname’s passion for football extends beyond Nigeria’s borders. In 2015, he became the first Nigerian to acquire a European football club, purchasing a 70% stake in Clube Desportivo Feirense. This bold move underscores his belief in the potential of Nigerian football and his commitment to fostering international connections and opportunities for Nigerian players.

His influence is not limited to football and gaming. Soname has made significant strides in the aviation sector with the establishment of ValueJet. This new airline, offering premium and high-quality services, operates two Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft and has made a considerable impact on Nigeria and the broader African sub-region. Notably, ValueJet became the first airline to land at the newly launched Ogun State Agro-cargo Airport in Ilishan-Remo, Ikenne Local Government, further cementing Soname’s legacy in his home state. Soname’s commitment to sports development is further highlighted by ValueJet’s sponsorship of the ValueJet Ultra Marathon in Sagamu. This initiative not only promotes athletic excellence but also enhances community engagement and development.

Kunle Soname’s personal life is marked by his marriage to Mrs. Kemi Soname, and together they have a daughter, Erioluwa Soname. His multifaceted contributions to sports, politics, and business showcase his unwavering belief that Nigerian football can be better organized and more attractive to fans and corporate brands alike.