Q&A: Crew Investor-Operator Anthony Precourt on the team's new direction

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In one of his first interviews as the Columbus Crew’s new investor-operator back in late July 2013, Anthony Precourt was clear he had some changes in mind for the city’s soccer team.

“We’re going to leave no stone unturned. …I love the name Columbus Crew. I love the colors. The badge, might take a look at the badge. We’ve got to see about that, though,” Precourt told the Dispatch in an interview the day he was introduced as investor-operator.

After Wednesday’s public unveiling, The Columbus Crew is now Columbus Crew SC. We’ve bid adieu to the construction workers, and welcomed in a more Germanic-inspired badge that’s meant to more closely align the club with its ever-evolving host city. A complete reinvention, in other words.

Anthony shared his thoughts on this rebirth with Alive earlier this week.

I felt it was time for the club to evolve its brand. I think our colors are wonderful, and I love our name. Our colors are so differentiated and identifiable with the club. They’re strong, energetic, bold colors, and the name is great. I love that we’re evolving to a soccer club in a hotbed of American football in Ohio.

The crest, obviously, is a big change for some people, but it makes us more timeless, more progressive, and represents our city more. Bringing the name Columbus into the crest is really important.

I don’t believe theHunts were planning for a rebrand; that was not something that was an investment highlight in anyway. This was something I wanted to do, and initiated almost upon arrival.

Obviously, I’m here to be a good custodian, and I listened to our supporters and fans and partners, and wanted to do something that’d be well received for the club.

[SportingKC]was a benchmark that suggested [a rebranding] could be successful.[But] out of the gates that rebrand was not well-received. I spoke with [Sporting KC principal investor] Cliff Illig and [Sporting CEO] Rob Heineman about the fact that for the first six months they were in hot water and really surprised at the negative reception to their crest. We talked about hanging in there, and sticking firm with your idea.

[Walking the talk is] actually critical, mission critical. For me, this is not just a change in crest, it’s changing what our club stands for, the culture of the club, internally, and how we present ourselves externally, how we conduct our business, and how we manage our brand.