Adrian Hanauer first kept the flame of professional soccer alive in Seattle before helping to reignite the community’s passion for the game with the arrival of a Major League Soccer expansion franchise in 2009. Prior to the appointment of Garth Lagerwey as Sounders FC General Manager and President of Soccer in early 2015, Hanauer led the organization to extraordinary success during its first six years of MLS history as both Owner and General Manager. 2014 proved to be Seattle’s most successful campaign under Hanauer’s stewardship, with Sounders FC capturing its fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, in addition to its first Supporters’ Shield and its second overall appearance in the MLS Western Conference Championship.
Sounders FC has carried that success internationally, becoming the first MLS team to eliminate a Mexican club from CONCACAF Champions League play, and the club is one of just four MLS teams to advance to the semifinals of the tournament. Seattle is also the first team to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League in each of its first three years, including two-straight quarterfinal appearances (2011-12, 2012-13). Under Hanauer, Sounders FC became just the third team in the 99-year history of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to win three consecutive championships (2009, 2010, 2011), and just the second to qualify for four consecutive finals (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). This success helped Hanauer be retained as the team’s General Manager in the first-ever fan vote in American professional sports history. A total of 13,755 votes were submitted during the two-month window and he received 96.3- percent of the votes for retention. Hanauer was also honored as the 2012 Executive of the Year at the 78th MTR Western Sports Star of the Year Awards, given to an individual for contributions to the success of the regional sports industry.
Hanauer has not only guided Seattle to success on the field, but he is largely responsible for the club’s off the field achievements as well. Sounders FC topped its own year-over-year MLS attendance record for five consecutive seasons, averaging 44,038 in 2013, over 20,000 more than the next closest team. Seattle hosted the second-largest crowd for a standalone MLS match when 67,385 packed CenturyLink Field for a Cascadia Cup game against Portland that same year. Since 2001, Hanauer has been associated with the highest level of soccer played in Seattle. He first joined the ownership group of the Sounders franchise in the United Soccer League’s First Division, and later became Majority Shareholder and General Manager. His first season in that role, 2002, was rewarded with Seattle going 23-4-1 — the second-best record in league history. From 2004-07, the Sounders played in the USL-1 championship game three times, winning twice (2005, 2007) and also taking a Commissioner’s Cup (best record) in 2007.
Hanauer has more than 20 years of business experience in a variety of other industries. On numerous occasions he has made early stage investments in technology companies with interests in advertising, infrastructure and wireless communications. Hanauer co-founded Curious Office Partners, which invests in and incubates early-stage technology companies. He was a seed stage investor in aQuantive Inc., the largest interactive advertising company which was later acquired by Microsoft for $6 billion U.S., and he was also an early investor in Amazon.com. Hanauer brings a great deal of “brick and mortar” business experience. The Hanauer family owns Pacific Coast Feather Co., one of the nation’s largest manufacturer of pillows, comforters, and bedding products. He also owns one of the largest chains of picture-framing companies in the United States.
Involved in many organizations in Seattle, Hanauer sits on the Board of Trustees for the Museum of History and Industry. He has also sat on the advisor board of The University of Washington Intercollegiate Sports Master's Degree Program. Hanauer's interest in soccer began at the age of three, and he saw his first NASL Sounders game at the age of eight. He went on to play for Mercer Island High School and remains active in the Greater Seattle Soccer League. In addition to his interest in Sounders FC, Hanauer is one of the largest shareholders of England’s Cambridge United Football Club, currently of England’s League Two (fourth tier). While with the USL Sounders, Hanauer promoted international matches, most notably an exhibition between Real Madrid and D.C. United that attracted a then-record Seattle crowd of 66,612 to CenturyLink Field in 2006. Hanauer attended the University of Washington.