A group of current and former Microsoft executives – including CEO Satya Nadella – have clubbed together in a consortium to take ownership of the Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer team in the company’s home state of Washington.
The club, which has had a long association with Microsoft via an Xbox shirt sponsorship, has been taken over by a new ownership group of 11 illustrious families with connections to the city in the Pacific north west.
Former Microsoft exec Terry Myserson and his wife Katie spearheaded the group, while Nadella and his wife Anu, and Joe Belfiore – the current CVP of experiences and devices at Microsoft – and his wife Kristina Belifore are also part of the consortium.
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The Microsoft connection continues with the families of CFO Amy Hood, former exec Soma Somasegar and former Microsoft program manager Christina Chew. The consortium has some celebrity clout too with the pop-artist Ciara and her husband the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson. The hip-hop star Macklemore and his wife Tricia Davis are now owners too.
The Sounders are one of the best-supported sides in the US top flight, and the rivalry with the Portland Timbers is one of the fiercest in MLS. Myerson said the new group will live up to the club’s longstanding mission of “Creating Moments, Enriching Lives and Unifying through Soccer”
In a blog post, he wrote: “My wife Katie and I feel lucky to be part of the club and are happy to invest in the club as a pillar of our Seattle community. We look forward to joining everyone in CenturyLink Field as we win more championships for Seattle.”
The Sounders were MLS Cup runners up in 2016 and 2017 and are currently second in the Western Conference standings behind LAFC. The deal comes with former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer, now the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team, which is also expected to compete for the championship this coming season.