New Sounders FC Partners
In a major club announcement, Seattle Sounders FC opened a new era in its storied 45-year history, as the organization unveiled 11 new families that joined the club’s Ownership Group on August 13, 2019. Representing a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences, all 11 families have direct ties to Seattle, bringing a wealth of expertise to the Rave Green in sports, entertainment, technology, broadcast, finance and many other fields.
This new group of investors is led by former Microsoft executive Terry Myerson and his wife Katie Myerson, combining a talented array of families that includes Grammy Award-winning music icon Ciara and Seattle Seahawks six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, Seattle-bred hip hop superstar Macklemore and his wife Tricia Davis, in addition to several families representing Microsoft’s present and past. This group includes 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. Like many of his fellow partners, Chee Chew brings an extensive amount of experience to the Rave Green from the Seattle technology community, with the current Chief Product Officer at Twilio having represented Amazon, Google and Microsoft at the executive level, all within the region. He comes to the club alongside wife Christine Chew, President of the Bellevue School Board.
David Nathanson and wife Sabina Nathanson are also part of Sounders FC’s new group of investors. Nathanson is no stranger to the sports or soccer worlds, having overseen all of FOX Sports Media Group’s national sports networks – including its investments in soccer properties on FOX, FS1 and FOX Soccer. Like Nathanson, Brian McAndrews brings a bevy of media experience to the Rave Green, previously serving as CEO of Pandora, CEO of aQuantive, Senior Vice President of Microsoft Advertising and Publishing Solutions, Executive Vice President of ABC Television Production and Executive Vice President & General Manager of ABC Sports. He is joined by 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 Advisors, having previously been a partner at Goldman Sachs.
This new group of partners joins Sounders FC’s existing Ownership contingent of Adrian Hanauer, Drew Carey and Jody Allen. As part of today’s news, Hanauer Fútbol – a group comprised of Adrian Hanauer, Paul Barry and Lenore Hanauer – has increased its overall investment in the club.
“Today we begin another chapter in the story of Seattle Sounders FC, this proud club that means so much to so many people,” said Sounders FC Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer. “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.”
Hanauer continues, “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. 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.”
Listed below, the new families representing Sounders FC’s Ownership Group are among the best and brightest of a number of industries, inclusive of sports, entertainment, music, technology, broadcasting, finance, education and many other paradigms.
- Russell Wilson & Ciara – Grammy Award-winning singer / songwriter Ciara and husband Russell Wilson, six-time NFL Pro Bowler and Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, have made the Pacific Northwest their home and join the Sounders FC Ownership Group as they solidify their dedication to Seattle and the power of sports in the community.
- Soma & Akila Somasegar – Excited to join the Sounders FC community, Soma and Akila Somasegar bring a variety of technology, finance and philanthropic experience to the Rave Green. Formerly a senior executive at Microsoft, Soma Somasegar is currently a venture capitalist that serves as Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group. Akila Somasegar, a former finance professional, is a philanthropist serving on several local and international non-profit boards.
- David & Sabina Nathanson – David and Sabina Nathanson come to the Sounders FC Ownership Group, bringing David’s extensive background in entertainment, television and broadcast rights. Nathanson previously served as Head of Business Operations for FOX Sports Media Group and Chief Operating Officer & General Manager of FS1 and FS2, in addition to overseeing all of FOX’s global and domestic soccer properties. As part of those efforts, Nathanson oversaw FOX’s successful bid for the 2018, 2022 and 2026 FIFA World Cup rights. He is an investor and board member of NHL Seattle, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Over Under Initiative and Fan Duel Group.
- Satya & Anu Nadella – Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his wife Anu join the Sounders FC Ownership Group looking forward to a continued investment in the region.
- Terry & Katie Myerson – Driving forces behind the new Seattle-focused Ownership Group, Terry and Katie Myerson are longtime Sounders FC fans who are looking forward to achieving new heights with the Rave Green. Terry Myerson was formerly Executive Vice President of Windows and Devices at Microsoft, now with Madrona Venture Group and the Carlyle Group.
- Brian McAndrews & Elise Holschuh – Brian McAndrews is a seasoned veteran of the entertainment and media industries, having served as CEO of Pandora, CEO of aQuantive, Senior Vice President of Microsoft Advertising and Publishing Solutions, Executive Vice President of ABC Television Production and Executive Vice President & General Manager of ABC Sports. Elise Holschuh retired from a marketing career and currently serves on the strategy committee of Hugo House and, until recently, was Chair of the Board for local non-profit Path with Art.
- Macklemore & Tricia Davis – Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist Macklemore and his wife Tricia Davis are Seattle natives, with the duo proudly joining the Ownership Group of their hometown Sounders FC.
- Amy Hood & Max Kleinman – As Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft, Amy Hood leads the company’s worldwide finance organization. She and her husband, Max Kleinman, a former partner at Accenture, proudly join their hometown club.
- Chee & Christine Chew – Chee and Christine Chew join the Sounders FC Ownership Group with extensive backgrounds in the region, as Chee currently serves as Chief Product Officer at Twilio following time at Amazon, Google (Seattle / Kirkland) and Microsoft. Christine Chew has served on the Bellevue School Board since 2010 and is currently Board President. She also serves on the board of Amplio, and was previously the Executive Director of College Access Now, both Seattle-based nonprofits.
- Joe & Kristina Belfiore – Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President in the Experiences and Devices division at Microsoft, and his wife, Kristina, who serves on the Board of Trustees for both Rainier Scholars and Seattle Day Country School, are excited to expand their commitment to the Puget Sound region by joining the Sounders FC Ownership Group.
- Mark & Tomoko Agne – Mark Agne is currently a Managing Partner at Softbank Investment Advisors. Prior to Softbank, he was a partner at Goldman Sachs, with extensive experience in various senior leadership roles throughout Asia. Agne joins the Sounders FC Ownership Group alongside his wife, Tomoko.
Seattle’s new partners join an existing Sounders FC Ownership Group that helped launch one of the most successful expansion franchises in North American sports history. Led by Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer, Sounders FC’s longtime Owners are listed below.
- Adrian Hanauer – The club’s Majority Owner, Adrian Hanauer has been involved with the Sounders franchise since 2001, when the team played in the United Soccer League. His passion, dedication and vision helped bring Major League Soccer to Seattle in the form of Seattle Sounders FC in 2009, and he has continued to lead the way, seeing the club to the highest winning percentage in MLS since entering the league, along with six major championships over the past decade.
- Drew Carey – A passionate driver of the club’s Democracy in Sports pillar, Drew Carey is an original member of the Sounders FC Ownership Group. The stand-up comic turned actor and producer is regarded as one of American soccer’s most recognizable supporters.
- Jody Allen – Representing Vulcan Sports and Entertainment within Sounders FC’s Ownership Group following the passing of Paul Allen last fall, Jody Allen continues her role leading with a focus on philanthropy and conservation.
- Paul Barry – Originally from Cambridge, England, Paul Barry has spent 26 years in the Pacific Northwest building businesses primarily in the travel sphere, as well as raising a family in the region. Barry joined the USL Sounders in 2000 as part of the club’s Ownership Group, and has remained a constant presence within the organization since that time. He is also an Owner of Cambridge United in the English Football League.
- Lenore Hanauer – In addition to being part of Sounders FC’s Ownership Group, Lenore Hanauer is also a partner of National Women’s Soccer League side Reign FC. She is an active local philanthropist with a focus on the arts and environmental issues.