The Seattle Sounders unveiled 11 new families that are joining the MLS
club's ownership group as the same time as the club's original majority owner, Joe Roth, announced his departure from the club.
All 11 families have direct ties to Seattle. They include Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, a six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner, and his wife, Grammy Award-winning music star Ciara, and hip hop star Macklemore and his wife Tricia Davis.
Former Fox Sports executive David Nathanson, who oversaw its national sports networks and move into soccer, and wife Sabina Nathanson are also part of the Sounders' new group of investors.
Former Microsoft executive Terry Myerson and his wife Katie Myerson are among several families representing Microsoft. They include Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella and wife Anu Nadella, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood and husband Max Kleinman, Corporate Vice President of Experiences and Devices Joe Belfiore and his wife Kristina Belfiore, as well as former Microsoft senior executive and current Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group Soma Somasegar and wife Akila Somasegar.
The Sounders' current majority owner is Adrian Hanauer. Drew Carey and Jody Allen also remain owners. Hanauer Fútbol - a group comprised of Adrian Hanauer, Paul Barry and Lenore Hanauer - increased its overall investment in the club.
When the team was awarded an MLS franchise in 2007 and began play in 2009, Roth was the majority owner.
"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," said the Hollywood producer. "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."
Photo: Seattle Sounders FC