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Seahawks' QB Wilson joins Sounders ownership

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Published in Soccer
Tuesday, 13 August 2019 11:03

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Ciara, are among 11 families to join the Seattle Sounders' ownership group, the club announced on Tuesday.

Hip-hop star Macklemore and his wife, Tricia Davis, are also among the new stakeholders.

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"Today we begin another chapter in the story of Seattle Sounders FC, this proud club that means so much to so many people," majority owner Adrian Hanauer said. "We are doubling down on this community and growing our local roots even deeper.

"Sounders FC was born right here in Seattle, and for more than 40 years, the club has forged a meaningful legacy that is deep and far-reaching. Today's news is a testament to what our community has accomplished, as 11 new families have joined with the broader Sounders family as fans and invested stewards of our club."

The new partners join Sounders FC's existing ownership group consisting of Hanauer, actor Drew Carey and Jody Allen. The organization also announced that Hanauer Futbol -- a group comprised of Hanauer, his wife, Lenore, and Paul Barry -- has increased its overall investment in the Sounders.

The group of new investors draws heavily from past and present executives of Microsoft. The group is led by former Microsoft executive Terry Myerson and his wife, Katie, and includes CEO Satya Nadella and wife Anu; CFO Amy Hood and husband Max Kleinman; vice president Joe Belfiore and his wife, Kristina; and former senior executive Soma Somasegar and wife Akila.

Former Fox Sports executive David Nathanson and his wife, Sabina, are also part of the group of additional investors, as are longtime technology executive Chee Chew and his wife, Christine, and former Pandora CEO and ABC executive Brian McAndrews and his wife, Elise Holschuh, who currently serves on the strategy committee of Hugo House. The new group of partners also features Mark and Tomoko Agne, with the former working as Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

"This diverse, passionate group of new partners wants to continue developing the club's community-first approach, while also furthering its proud winning tradition on the field," Hanauer said. "Collectively, we believe that Seattle is the greatest city in the world and that Sounders FC has a responsibility to both preserve our region's unique spirit while also leading our community by fostering an environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all. On behalf of our entire Sounders family, I want to extend a proud and warm welcome to our club's new partners."

Hollywood producer Joe Roth, one of the club's owners when it joined MLS in 2007, has left the organization. His tenure witnessed a period in which the Sounders won five major trophies, including their first MLS Cup in 2016.

"When MLS gave me permission to look at the Pacific Northwest to start a soccer franchise, there was no question that Seattle was the place," Roth said. "The last 10 years watching our Sounders grow with their incredible fan support beat any hit movie I ever created.

"I love the team, from the players to the staff, and most of all I love the fans. When they write the history book of soccer in America, it was Seattle that propelled our game into being perceived as a first-tier sport."

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