Pool signs landmark Shs1b deal with Nile Special

National Council of Sports (NCS) chairman Ambrose Tashobya (R) speaks at the launch the Pool Association of Uganda (PAU) president Bob Trubish (C) and Nile Breweries' Douglas Karema look on. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

The beer giants will hold exclusive beer branding rights at all the PAU events for the next two years as part of the deal. NBL will commit to the sport Shs523m annually.

The Pool Association of Uganda launched a historic two-year Shs1b partnership with Nile Special beer to become headline sponsors of pool activities including the National League and the National Open.

The beer giants will hold exclusive beer branding rights at all the PAU events for the next two years as part of the deal. NBL will commit to the sport Shs523m annually.

The deal was hailed by Pool Association of Uganda (PAU) chairman Bob Trubish as a ‘historic agreement’. It was signed at an event attended by the Minister of Sports’ representative Ambrose Tashobya (who is also the chairman of the National Council of Sports - NCS) and Nile Breweries Douglas Karema during a glittering event at the brewers’ headquarters in Luzira.

"We are incredibly excited to partner with the Pool Association of Uganda," said Karema. "Nile Special recognises the immense potential of Ugandan pool and the exceptional talent of its players. This partnership signifies our commitment to propelling the sport to even greater heights. We are confident that this investment will not only elevate the National Open and Senior League but will also empower both players and clubs."

Rewarding excellence

The National Open qualifiers will commence July 19, 2024, spanning across 320 venues and 40 regional centres, before culminating in a thrilling grand finale at the Lugogo Indoor Stadium on November 16, 2024. 128 men and 32 women will compete in the showdown at Lugogo.

Nile Special's partnership with Next Media ensures fans will witness the captivating action of both the National Leagues and the National Open. Additionally, PAU will livestream select matches, allowing fans to follow the games virtually.

The champions of the National Open, both men and women, will be rewarded handsomely. They will not only drive away in brand new cars but will also receive substantial cash prizes of Shs5m for the men's champion and Shs3m for the women's champion. 

Runners-up in both categories will be presented with standard pool tables on top of cash prizes. Furthermore, players who reach the Last 16 stage at the Lugogo finals will be rewarded with cash prizes.

“We want to keep growing the sport and this is another episode to find new champions,” James Mwere, the lead person of the National Open project, said.

Uplifting the National League

Renamed the National Pool League, action is expected to be exciting thanks to this sponsorship. The revamped format will include 16 men's and 8 women's teams. Individual accolades will also be awarded to outstanding players, including the league's top scorers and Most Valuable Players (MVPs).

This partnership introduces a groundbreaking initiative: all participating clubs will receive a Shs3m facilitation to bolster their operational capabilities. Nile Special will provide branded uniforms for all participating teams to elevate the league's image.

"This partnership is a landmark achievement for Ugandan pool," said Bob Trubish, the chairman of the Pool Association of Uganda. "Nile Breweries' generous investment will have a profound impact on the sport. The financial support, along with the innovative initiatives like club grants will create a more competitive environment."

National Open key dates and info


Start Date: July 19, 2024

Registration: Purchase five bottles of Nile Special at selected qualifying centres.

Qualifying spots: Four men and two women will advance to the regional stage.


Dates: August 23 - September 14, 2024

Locations: Selected venues across Uganda

Prizes: Cash prizes awarded to regional winners.

Grand finale

Date: November 16, 2024

Participants: 128 men and 32 women