Sounders FC, Carlyle complete purchase of Seattle Reign FC

PORTLAND, OREGON - MAY 11: The starting eleven for the Seattle Reign pose for a photo before a game against the Portland Thorns at Providence Park on May 11, 2024 in Portland, Oregon. (Soobum Im / Getty Images)

Seattle Sounders FC and investment firm Carlyle have completed a purchase agreement with the Olympique Lyonnais Groupe to acquire Seattle Reign FC.

OL Groupe reached an agreement to sell the Reign to the Sounders and Carlyle for $58 million back in March. The Reign were purchased by OL Groupe in 2019 for approximately $3.5 million.

"Today is a milestone day for soccer in our city, and I am humbled to be a part of it," Sounders FC owner Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. "This announcement is about keeping one of the top women’s teams in the world locally rooted in our community for generations of fans to enjoy. 

"I am a deep admirer of the Reign organization, and alongside our new partners at Carlyle, we are excited to steward this incredible club. Our goal is to be a standard-bearer in global soccer. This means creating a first-class environment for players, staff and fans, while staying authentic to our community. For anyone that loves the sport of soccer and its place in Seattle, today’s news brings everyone together and allows us all to run toward an incredible future."

The Reign were purchased by OL Groupe in 2019 for approximately $3.5 million.

The Reign re-branded back to the Seattle Reign FC in January with OL Groupe seeking to sell their stake in the team. They had been the OL Reign for four seasons under OL Groupe control. The Seattle Reign FC name was used by the club for the first six seasons, which included back-to-back NWSL regular season shields in 2014 and 2015. The team became Reign FC for one season in 2019 with a move to Tacoma before the OL Groupe bought their stake in the team.

Hanauer will serve as the primary governor for the Reign in the NWSL with Carlyle’s Head of Private Credit, Alex Popov, serving as alternate governor.

"On behalf of the NWSL and its Board of Governors, we’re thrilled to welcome this new ownership group into the NWSL," commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. "Combining the operational expertise and long-term community leadership of the group led by Adrian Hanauer, with the financial investment of one of the world’s leading investment firms in Carlyle, this group positions Seattle Reign FC for success. We look forward to the continued growth of the club."

Maya Mendoza-Exstrom is set to take over the chief business officer role with the Reign after 10 seasons spent with the Sounders as chief operating officer.

Mendoza-Exstrom has been a principal stakeholder in key civic matters, including Seattle’s successful bid to become an official host city for the FIFA World Cup 2026™, working in a leadership role on Seattle’s local organizing committee. An All-American soccer player at the University of Puget Sound, Mendoza-Exstrom is also a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law. 

"I am excited and deeply honored to step into a role of leadership for Seattle Reign FC," Mendoza-Exstrom said in a statement. "This game has been a part of my life since I was four years old. The opportunity to lead this club – my club – at this important moment where the unique value of women's sports and athletes is being met with investment, interest and visibility is humbling. My commitment and one I make alongside two incredible teammates in Lesle Gallimore and Laura Harvey, is simple: to accelerate the growth of our business and build our brand and fan base to meet the opportunity of this global movement in women's sports."


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