Seattle Sounders name Russell Wilson and Microsoft CEO among new owners

Macklemore performs during the Gemini Tour at Key Arena in Seattle on Friday Dec. 22 2017

Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson is growing his sports ownership portfolio. Wilson also joined a group that is looking to bring a National Basketball Association team to Seattle. "Time and time again, he would ask, 'What is best for the Sounders?' Selflessly, this question would always guide his thinking as we navigated through a variety of options for the club and new investors".

The star-studded ownership group will help keep Sounders FC in Seattle and help build the club going forward.

The group joined the existing ownership structure of Adrian Hanauer, Drew Carey and Jody Allen, while Hanauer Fútbol, a group comprised of Hanauer, Paul Barry and Lenore Hanauer, increased their overall investment in the club. "When I got here in 2012, Seattle was a place that I felt I could call home forever".

Other families that joined include a number of current and former Microsoft executives, including ex-executive Terry Myerson and his wife Katie, CEO Satya Nadella and his wife Anu, CFO Amy Hood and her husband Max Kleinman, corporate vice president of experiences and devices Joe Belfiore and his wife Kristina, and former senior executive Soma Somasegar, and his wife, Akila.

Myerson pulled the group together as founding partner and Hollywood producer Joe Roth, the club's majority owner from 2007-15, is exiting the group, and the transition was 15 months in development.

"Today we begin another chapter in the story of Seattle Sounders FC, this proud club that means so much to so many people", Hanauer said in a statement.

Wilson, joins 10 other families who have invested in the Sounders, including hip-hop artist Macklemore.

The Sounders have consistently been one of MLS' most successful franchises, annually averaging around 40,000 fans per game at CenturyLink Stadium, which is shares with the Seahawks. "It's the place we get to raise our kids and the place we are forever connected to", the couple said in a joint statement. The new owners have picked up the remainder of Roth's investment.

"The new money comes in the form of continuing to run a better and better business", Hanauer said. "This team is building an incredible legacy and I'm just excited to be part of it". His tenure witnessed a period in which the Sounders won five major trophies, including their first MLS Cup in 2016.



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