The one good thing about the decision by the Major League Soccer team from Columbus to rebrand, again, is there’s already a hashtag ready to protest its ridiculous decision.
That’s handy from when former owner Anthony Precourt attempted to move the Columbus Crew to Austin in 2018. Ultimately, the Crew were rescued by an ownership group led by Jimmy and Dee Haslem, and Precourt got the opportunity to place an MLS expansion team in Austin.
So now, after the club’s fan base has expended so much energy in preventing the team from moving, and the Crew won the most recent MLS Cup championship, and the team is about to enter a beautiful new downtown stadium — well, all that goodwill can’t be allowed to last, can it?
So of course the team’s marketing department has decided, without apparently consulting any of its most ardent fans, to make massive changes to the team’s name and crest — less than seven years after doing it to widespread applause from Columbus fans and the broader soccer community.
Columbus Crew SC will become Columbus Soccer Club, or Columbus SC.
Which many took to mean the Crew now will be moving to Columbia, S.C.
They’re not. But after looking at the team’s Twitter account, some in the front office might want to consider relocation.
The public response was overwhelming. The video tweet that made the rebrand official, published just after 3 p.m. Monday, was a savage example of being “ratioed”, with 875 quote tweets that included promises to cancel season tickets, nearly 1,000 comments that included pictures of pig dung and not quite 500 “likes.”
Among the first reactions when word leaked of the rebrand late Sunday was a tweet from former Crew forward Justin Meram, who played 206 games for the Crew and started in 2015 MLS Cup final, who said the change “makes 0.0000 sense.”
The Crew’s supporters’ group, The Nordecke, started a petition to keep the team’s name that gained more than 2,600 signatures in less than a day. The group also released a statement saying its members, and no other supporters’ group, had been consulted in advance of the decision to change. Some were shown the finished product before its release.
There were plenty of slightly profane tweets from fans.
But among the comments were this cogent one: “We HAD the best crest in MLS. Now there’s this.”
The 2014 rebrand from Columbus Crew to Columbus Crew SC was pristine. The absurd original logo featuring three men in hard hats was abandoned in favor of a sleek black-and-gold patch that featured the team’s name and founding year. That change also avoided the folly — so prominent in MLS — of trying to persuade Columbus residents who’ve grown up on the Ohio State Buckeyes that the Crew should be referenced as a “football club.”
The new crest merely is a large C with a strange spike sticking out of the bottom. What it’s intended to invoke is difficult to imagine.
It seems much less consideration went into the process than in 2014. Because if any thought at all had been given to the matter, how long would it have taken for someone to say: Why are we messing with something so popular?
Maybe the Crew marketing department believed the massive public failure of the European Super League would provide cover for its dubious decision.
Has no one in world soccer ever heard of the term “market research”?
Source: Read Full Article