MLS champs Columbus to drop ‘Crew’ from name in rebrand

Major League Soccer side Columbus Crew SC will unveil a rebrand that will see the defending MLS Cup champions drop their “Crew” nickname, sources have told ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle.

Multiple reports emerged late Friday that club will go simply as Columbus SC. The team will inform staff of the decision on Monday and a public announcement will follow as soon as Tuesday, according to Carlisle.

The rebrand will also include an overhaul to the club’s logo, but will keep the team’s colors as black and gold.

In a statement on Sunday, the club said: “Recently, images have surfaced depicting a new logo for Columbus Crew SC. The Crew and the Black and Gold remain at our core, and we continue to embrace and respect our heritage while modernizing our marks as our club and the city of Columbus evolve. We look forward to revealing those in their entirety in the near future.”

The Nordecke supporters group said in a statement it was “saddened” by the decision and for the “lack of transparency”, noting that at no time was the group involved in “the conception, development, or design of this rebrand.” The group also condemned alleged behavior of fans harassing members of the team’s front office.

In 2017, former club owner Anthony Precourt stated his intention to move the team to Austin, Texas, which spurred the “Save the Crew” movement. Precourt negotiated with the league to sell the team in 2018 to a group that includes Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam. MLS then awarded Precourt an expansion side that became Austin FC.

In addition to the expected name change, the team is set to move into a new $314 million stadium in downtown Columbus.