What you need to know
- Several celebrities have joined together to own the Seattle Sounders soccer team.
- The ownership group includes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, and rapper Macklemore.
- The new owners join an already recognizable ownership group including Drew Carey, and Jody Allen.
Rather than acquiring new players, the Seattle Sounders soccer team has added several new owners (via The Verge). A joint ownership group led by former Microsoft executive Terry Myerson joins Adrian Hanauer, Drew Carey, and Jody Allen in owning the team. The new ownership group includes several celebrities from multiple spheres, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of experiences and devices Joe Belfiore, rapper Macklemore, pop star Ciara and her husband NFL quarterback Russell Wilson.
Myerson led the charge to bring the new ownership group together. A California-based investment group expressed interest in the team following Sounders FC founder Joe Roth deciding to sell his equity in the team. Several in the Seattle area were concerned that an investment group from outside of Seattle would move the team. The new ownership group is focused on keeping the team in Seattle. Myerson explained his focus on Seattle in a blog post "I would need to find a group of like-minded people, who were willing to invest in the Sounders as a pillar of the Seattle community, and were willing to make the bet that soccer would grow in popularity along with me."
Myerson gathered an impressive list of owners for the team which each gave statements on the purchase in the team's announcement post. Here is the full list of the new ownership group.
- Russell Wilson & Ciara
- Soma & Akila Somasegar
- David & Sabina Nathanson
- Satya & Anu Nadella
- Terry & Katie Myerson
- Brian McAndrews & Elise Holschuh
- Macklemore & Tricia Davis
- Amy Hood & Max Kleinman
- Chee & Christine Chew
- Joe & Kristina Belfiore
- Mark & Tomoko Agne
Myerson emailed Nadella, and several other prominent names connected to Microsoft jumped on board including Microsoft CFO Amy Hood and former Microsoft Program Manager Christine Chew. Myerson partnered with capital firm Madrona, and subsequently, several other celebrities joined the group, including Wilson and Macklemore.
The new ownership group joins the current ownership contingent of Adrian Hanauer, Drew Carey, and Jody Allen. Hanauer expressed the importance of keeping the Sounders in the Seattle area.
The star-studded ownership group will help keep Sounders FC in Seattle and help build the club going forward.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
Is it me or do I also see Ralph Macchio in that picture?
I....I think that is Terry? Man, he looks really good if that is him. That hard work is paying off. Good stuff!
I thought the same thing after thinking to myself "wow, the Karate Kid and soccer. What a perfect match." My mistake though, as it does not appear to be him.
"Oh, we have not increased crowds or profits in a month. I am afraid we are going to have to end this program. Is it possible we can play this in the cloud?" - Satya Nadella
It ain't cricket, but being Indian Nadella probably cares more about football than you suspect.
Life is good at Microsoft! But until they get Zlatan Ibrahimović, the Sounders are doomed!
I thought that Nadella had more pressing issues on his plate than bailing out a football team. Then again Belfiore is one of the financiers so I wonder how much managerial input this deal costs MS.
It is a good bet that those who are current MS employees are merely silent partners. They would merely receive a quarterly report or something similar and would not have active decision making contribution. Just as if you bought any stock on NASDAQ, except that they also get good seats and similar perks. It's just that for the promoter (Meyerson) who will likely be the General (active) Partner, MS is the well of money that he knows best, like Willie Sutton, so he goes there to seek investors. And they in turn have confidence in him because of their prior history, so they buy in. That is why you see a lot of them as investors, but they have enough problems in their day jobs and won't be worrying about anything to do with managing a soccer team. I mean, you don't think the Seattle Seahawks QB is going to be calling the soccer club manager during time out vs. SF, to check why Sounders have not scored a touchdown - em, I mean goal - right?
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