COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Crew SC fans took to social media to express outrage over a reported possible rebranding of the Major League Soccer original franchise.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the team’s name, colors and logo are under consideration for a rebrand, which would coincide with the Crew’s new stadium opening at the start of the 2021 MLS season.
“Don’t touch our colors. Don’t add a color. Don’t change the name. Don’t change the badge. Those are ours. We earned them,” one fan wrote on Twitter.
A Crew spokesperson responded to the story with an emailed statement to MLSsoccer.com and the Dispatch that said: “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.”
— Dave (@SoDaveWasLike) January 29, 2020
The team went through a makeover once in 2014, under former owner Anthony Precourt. The name officially changed from “The Columbus Crew” to “Columbus Crew SC,” which was met with some criticism. However, the updated logo was widely lauded and the rebrand was overall considered a success.
Those same fans staged the “Save the Crew” movement to keep the MLS team in Columbus after Precourt announced plans to move the franchise to Austin, Texas.
Now, with new ownership at the helm, talk of another rebrand prompted passionate responses from supporters who are now more attached to the club’s identity than ever before.
You have got to be kidding me.
Didn’t this city and fan base JUST show how much the legacy and identity of @ColumbusCrewSC means to it? This would be an absolutely massive mistake from an ownership group that until now has been hailed as saviors. https://t.co/q9WZ0SSC52
— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) January 29, 2020
Other than the initial statement made to the Dispatch, Crew SC have not commented on the topic. Occasionally, clubs float ideas to gauge fan reaction. If that’s the case, fans provided emphatic insight.
Crew co-owner Dr. Pete Edwards also took to Twitter to assuage some of the fans fears, saying, “The Edwards and Haslam families understand that Columbus bleeds black and gold.”
— DrPeteEdwards (@DrPeteEdwards1) January 29, 2020