The Major League Soccer franchise formerly known as Columbus Crew revealed a new name and crest Monday, marking a major rebranding for one of the league's first franchises.
The club will go by Columbus Soccer Club, or Columbus SC, dropping the word "Crew" from their formal name. A series of social media posts made clear that Columbus will continue to incorporate "Crew" as an informal nickname as a way to honor its history.
That was not enough to appease Columbus fans, many of whom expressed displeasure with the changes. A change.org petition launched Monday to "Keep the Crew" attracted more than 3,000 signatures by Monday afternoon.
"Taking away The Crew? We ARE the Crew," the petition's description said. "It's what makes us stand out. It's unique and doesn't blend into the boring SC and FC and Uniteds."
Columbus will continue to wear black and gold kits, keeping the colors it has donned since the league's inception in 1996, but the primary crest was changed from a circular shield featuring the number 96 to a tall block C.
"The current direction of our Club and our city provides a natural time to examine our identity going forward," Columbus president and GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. "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.
"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."
Columbus has a distinct history as one of 10 charter clubs, and the first MLS team to build a soccer-specific stadium. The club has won one U.S. Open Cup and two MLS Cups, including in 2020 with a 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders.
-Field Level Media