Reigning MLS champion Columbus returns ‘Crew’ to official team name after fan backlash

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — The reigning MLS champions, Columbus, are walking back some of their recent rebranding efforts, including the return of the word “Crew” to its official name and logo.

The news comes after members of the front office met with representatives from several of the team’s supporters groups on Monday.

The Crew released a statement Monday night saying that the meeting produced “a positive, collaborative discussion,” that concluded with the decision that “the Columbus Crew will remain the team’s official name moving forward.”

Fan group Nordecke supports the decision, which will include “Columbus Crew” being a part of a new crest. The crest will also include “96” being placed inside an outline of the Ohio state flag, which a statement says will represent “the club’s status as the founding member in Major League Soccer.”

Dr. Pete Edwards, an owner of the club, said in a video statement that the team is “super excited about the progress we’ve made and where we’re going as a club. We’re going to be the Columbus Crew and we’re going to be the Columbus Crew forever.”

The two sides also agreed to create a supporter liaison position, to improve communication between the club and its supporters groups.

Charles Campisano, general counsel for Nordecke, told ESPN that “restoring the name was the No. 1 priority.”

“Obviously, it would have been better to have a fair dialogue up front, but given that they’re listening and reacting and asked us a lot of stuff I think is as good as an outcome as we could have hoped for given the circumstances.”

The organization had announced details of a rebranding on May 10, including a plan to identify the team as Columbus SC. Response to the proposal was universally negative, with some supporters calling it “lame” and “an unnecessary own goal.”

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