UPDATE, May 17: One week after announcing their rebranding, the Columbus Crew reversed course and announced they would be retaining their old name, using Crew as their primary identifier and removing “Soccer Club” from the name.
Columbus' Major League Soccer team is no longer officially called the Crew.
To the chagrin of many of the team's supporters, the franchise's official name has been changed to Columbus Soccer Club, complete with a new logo that was unveiled Monday.
Despite the name and logo change, though, the Crew nickname will remain affiliated with the team and will continue to be a part of the club's branding efforts. From the club's official release:
“The current direction of our Club and our city provides a natural time to examine our identity going forward,” said Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Our identity and brand evolution includes a shift in our mindset to be consistent contenders on the pitch, but also includes evolving our look both in the community and across competitions. With the upcoming completion of our new, modern, dynamic stadium, our world-class OhioHealth Performance Center, and coming off an MLS Cup championship, our marks are aligned with where we are headed as a city and as an organization. We are proud to represent Columbus on the global stage of soccer and aspire to help elevate the city and honor it for what it has done for the Club. We are Columbus Soccer Club, we are The Crew, and we will always be the Black & Gold.”
The Icon C indeed represents the Crew primarily and also Columbus. The state of Ohio flag forms the overall shape of the shield. The new marks authentically incorporate symbols (checker flag to present the diversity of our fans, Ohio state flag to represent Ohio’s first MLS team, Short North arches and stadium geometry to inspire our new font) meaningful to the region and our supporters and represent an evolution of the Club's tradition.
Based on social media reactions to the rebranding since it was leaked on Sunday, it appears the Columbus SC will face an uphill battle to convince fans that the changes are for the better.