Columbus SC is official. One day after Massive Report confirmed rumors that the Columbus Crew was set to rebrand, the club has officially announced its change in name and logo.
The Crew will officially be known as “Columbus SC” with “the Crew” name now being officially used as a nickname for the club, similar to how “Black & Gold” has been used in the past. This marks the biggest change in the Columbus Crew’s identity ever with the club’s official Americanized nickname of the “Crew” being dropped.
Columbus revealed a brand new crest, the third in the history of MLS’s first club on Monday afternoon. The crest’s shield is in the shape of the Ohio flag with the icon “C” as the main part of the new logo. Outside of the shape is the logotype in the newly created “NineSix” font with “Columbus” on the top and “SC” on the bottom. The logo has two color variations with the main shield with the “C” staying with the black background, gold outline and white “C.” The only change is the text switching between black or white.
“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.”
Bezbatchenko added “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 club also revealed secondary logos and script logos that will be used for Columbus SC branding in the future. The “C” icon on its own serves as a secondary logo in either black, gold or white. The other secondary logo is the state of Ohio with the new black and gold checkered pattern encompassing the inside of the state. Three script logos were released as well, saying “The Crew.” “Columbus Soccer Club” and “CR96EW”.
This change in identity for Columbus continues a recent trend of MLS clubs having more traditional European soccer team names with the city of the team being followed by SC, FC, CF, United, City, etc. Just three months ago, the Montreal Impact announced a rebrand with a new logo that accompanied the club’s new name, CF Montreal. The last 11 expansion clubs to join MLS since 2012 have followed this European style with the last team to join MLS to keep its nickname in the club’s official title being the Portland Timbers.
Of the original MLS franchises, Columbus SC will be the fourth to change its club name with the likes of the Dallas Burn (FC Dallas), the Kansas City Wizards (Sporting Kansas City) and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (New York Red Bulls). With the transition from the Columbus Crew to Columbus SC, 16 of the 27 Major League Soccer clubs don’t have a nickname as part of the official club name.
The Crew is also in a unique position in MLS history to have three different logos with completely different designs and shapes. The club’s original crest, released in 1996, was in the traditional shield shape with the three construction workers in the middle. The second crest that was revealed in 2014 was a circle with multiple details nodding the history of Columbus, the Crew and Major League Soccer.