The Columbus Crew will be sporting a new look come the 2015 season.
New Crew owner Anthony Precourt clarified some rumours which had been floating around the fanbase regarding a new team name, colours, logos, and uniforms in an article on FoxSportsOhio.com
The good news is that the name and black-and-gold colour scheme will remain the same:
“The colours have never been under review and will always be black and gold. We’re the Columbus Crew, our colours are the same, we’re just really evaluating the badge.” – Precourt
The badge (or logo) is quite dated, and really not appropriate to be used as a sports logo. It features three fairly photo-realistic construction workers in black and white wearing hardhats within a shield below the team name.
This is an identity leftover from MLS’ days as a sports league which catered to the traditional North American sports fan, in the days of teams with names like the Kansas City Wiz, Dallas Burn, and New York/New Jersey MetroStars; before the powers-that-be wised up and treated soccer fans on this side of the pond with a little more respect… y’know, with teams named after sponsors and unaffiliated European clubs. At least the logos look better.
“We are thinking about our identity as a club; we think it could be refreshed. We don’t know if it necessarily resonates what Columbus is really all about.” – Precourt
So expect a more Columbus-focused brand for the Crew when the team unveils the new look, maybe something incorporating the Ohio Statehouse Capitol Building or maybe a buckeye… you could easily turn that Statehouse building into a logo element:
With this owner so set on putting his own Columbus-first branding on his new soccer club, why the wait? Why not 2014? As you’d expect, it all has to do with agreements with adidas and the league:
“We’re in that process of evaluating what we might do to refresh the brand. Based on how properties work with adidas and Major League Soccer, it takes time. We just can’t do anything until the start of the 2015 season when we roll out our new kits for 2015. I wish it could happen sooner.” – Precourt
So do we… but it’s nice to hear that the wheels are at least turning and this team is getting it’s long overdue update.
UPDATE (Nov 8/13 11:35am ET)
Courtesy a very informative article by Sports Illustrated’s Brian Straus back in August, we have some more quotes detailing Precourt’s rebranding mindset:
“I anticipate making changes,” he said. “It’s not a working class, blue-collar town. It’s more of a white-collar town.”
The logo doesn’t even say “Columbus” on it, which is a problem for a club searching for ways to connect with a city still aiming for big-league status.
“We don’t want to have to attach the “OH” after “Columbus” when we’re mentioned in the paper,” Precourt said, adding that he can “guarantee” that the city will be represented somehow in the club’s branding going forward.
“The name and the colours are great,” he said. “The crest, it’s one of my highest priorities. Man, it’s one of my obsessions. When I go to the league office and look on the wall and see the different logos, I want ours to be really relevant and local and contemporary.”
From this it appears Precourt genuinely takes personal pride in how his team, his city is represented — not only on the field but from a branding perspective, and it really doesn’t appear to be financially-driven. Nice. I’m really looking forward to what comes out of this rebrand.