COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Crew SC is making official its new look and name.
The team announced Monday that it will now be known as Columbus SC, with the Crew remaining as a nickname, and that a new logo will reflect the change. The new logo, which was circulated online Sunday and officially unveiled Monday, will be used starting with the 2022 season, NBC4 has confirmed.
“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,” team president Tim Bezbatchenko said. “We are Columbus Soccer Club, we are The Crew, and we will always be the Black & Gold.”
The team released a series of images related to the new logo release.
Columbus SC, which won the Major League Soccer title last season, is off to a 1-0-2 start as it prepares to move into its new stadium in the Arena District on Friday, July 3.
The team has been in Major League Soccer since the beginning. The Crew played home games at Ohio Stadium starting in 1996 and, in 1999, moved to its current home, the first stadium in the country built specifically for soccer. It was known originally as Columbus Crew Stadium, then Mapfre Stadium and now Historic Crew Stadium.
In 2014, the team became Columbus Crew SC when it adopted its current look.
The name change is not being well-received among all fans, particularly those who were in the Save the Crew movement that worked in 2017 and ’18 to keep the team from being moved to Austin, Texas, by owner Anthony Precourt.
Instead, the team was sold to its current owners — Dee and Jimmy Haslam, who also own the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, and the family of Columbus Dr. Pete Edwards — who said they would keep it in Columbus. They began rebuilding the front office with the people who put together the championship team and launched plans for building the Downtown stadium. The rebranding is the latest move from the group.
The name Columbus SC reflects a trend in MLS teams to go by their city name along with an abbreviation such as SC (for soccer club) or FC (for football club). Examples include newer MLS franchises such as Nashville SC, Austin FC and FC Cincinnati.
Fans wanting to keep Crew in the team’s official name planned a protest for Monday afternoon at Historic Crew Stadium. And the Twitter account of the Nordecke fan group posted images with the hashtag “#WeAreTheCrew.”
The team is keeping Crew as part of its online branding, with the team’s website and social media accounts all dropping “SC” from their names to just read “ColumbusCrew.” And the team’s official hashtag will remain “#Crew96.”