By CAITLIN MURRAY
The Columbus Crew are now Columbus Crew SC — and they have a new logo to match.
The new logo, unveiled at an event streamed online Wednesday night, pays tribute to the Crew’s past as the first club to join Major League Soccer as it rebrands with a new identity. Adding the city name to the crest was important to give the team a stronger voice in the community, said owner Anthony Precourt. The additional “SC” distinctly brands the team as a soccer club.
Nine stripes represent that the Crew were the first of the league’s 10 founding teams and the number “96” represents the team first taking the field in 1996. The checkerboard design is a nod to the Nordecke supporters section.
The round logo is a departure from shield shape of the previous crest, with the circle meant to signify the tight-knit Crew family, as well as the city’s German heritage. The inner circle mirrors the “O” in the state flag as Columbus is the state capital.
“To me this is about more than a logo — it’s about a culture,” said coach Gregg Berhalter. “It’s about the details. It’s about the employees, the players, the fans and the community. Our culture is our style of play. We want to dictate the play. It doesn’t matter where we go, what stadiums we play in, whether we’re in New York, LA, D.C. — we want to bring Columbus to them.”
The new logo will start to be phased into certain elements of Crew operations this year, including in-stadium and online, but it will officially be rolled out entirely next year.
The newly named Crew SC also plan to change their stadium experience to give a nod to local landmarks and culture. Fans will be able to vote on upcoming changes.
Most of all, the new identity represents a new vision, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said.
“That new vision is really aligned with a new vision for Major League Soccer,” Garber said. “Coincidentally, we have a new (MLS) logo, we have a new plan for what we want this league to be and that really sits in cities like Columbus. So many great things came out of this city, out of this stadium and out of this team.”
What do you think of the new name? Do you like the new logo? Are you looking forward to the more Columbus-centric identity of the club?
Share your thoughts below.