Okay Columbus Crew SC fans, you can relax. After a morning that featured mass uproar from supporters of the Black & Gold, calm and reasoning prevailed.
The hysteria began as fans woke up on Wednesday morning to a column by The Columbus Dispatch’s Mike Arace stating that the Crew was “seriously” considering a rebranding project that could see the team’s colors and name, which have more or less remained the same for the club’s 25-year history, changed. According to The Dispatch, this rebrand would be for 2021 and coincide with the opening of the team’s new downtown stadium.
This created a panic of sorts on social media where fans were outraged to hear that the still relatively new ownership group, which helped save the team from relocation prior to last season, was thinking of changing two things so closely tied to the club and its history.
Order slowly was restored as sources close to the team and familiar with future talks confirmed to Massive Report that these initial reports were a stretch of what could happen as conversations remain ongoing about the future look of the club. A team spokesperson then confirmed to Massive Report that “the Club’s colors of Black & Gold are not changing” but that there could be modifications to the brand in the near future. There was no word on a potential name change, though information provided to Massive Report indicates that any alteration to the name would also be minor.
Here is the statement from the club, which was originally published in The Dispatch article:
“As part of the process of building the future identity and brand for the Club, we have engaged in dialogue about the historic projects underway. From the evolution of the League’s first soccer specific stadium, to the experience center in the Short North, to what the new, downtown stadium will look like, it is seemingly prudent to evaluate how our supporters and new fans would interact with them. This Club has been a vital part of the community for nearly 25 years and so any explorations of the identity of the projects must be done with the spirit of the past and what we believe the Club can achieve in the next 25 years.”
Following a potential relocation struggle between fans, the city and former investor-operator Anthony Precourt, an ownership group of Dee and Jimmy Hasalam, who also own the Cleveland Browns, and former team doctor Pete Edwards purchased the rights to the team from Major League Soccer. Since then, the club announced and broke ground on a new downtown stadium that is expected to open in July of 2021.
Edwards, who has been a part of the franchise since the team’s first season in 1996, put out a tweet stating that the ownership group understands that Columbus bleeds black and gold.
Since Columbus was announced as the first team in MLS history, the club has worn some variation oof black and gold as its primary uniform. The name “Columbus Crew” was altered slightly to “Columbus Crew SC” in 2015 during a Precourt-regime rebrand that saw the original logo — three men in hardhats — changed to a European-style crest created to pay homage to the history of the club and Columbus’ German heritage.
For a brief couple of hours, Crew fans were concerned that the team they knew was going to be changed once again. Those fans now rest easy as the fabric of the club remains safe.