The Crusaders will keep their name, but will drop the knight and sword image from their logo for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
The defending Super Rugby champions announced on Saturday that they had received the results of an independent review commissioned into their name and branding in the wake of the 15 March shootings in two mosques in Christchurch.
The tragedy prompted calls for change to their branding and name, which are associated with religious wars between Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages.
A full brand review will commence shortly, and any changes recommended by that review will be announced by the end of 2019 and come into effect in the 2021 season. In the meantime, the Crusaders name will be retained for the remainder of the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but an interim change to the logo will come into effect for next season, with the removal of the knight and sword image.
‘What is clear from the research is that there are divided views on the name itself, but that people on both sides of the divide are incredibly passionate about this club and what it represents to them,’ Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said.
‘A brand is much more than a name or a logo, and this research has shown us that it is the values and legacy of this club that really endears us to our fans, so that needs to be the starting point of any discussion about the best way forward.
‘Today we are committing to undertaking a thorough brand review that will cover all elements of the brand, from the organisation and team’s values and vision, through to the logo and team name.
‘We will go into the brand review with open minds,’ Mansbridge added, ‘but no matter what the outcome of that exercise is, one thing that we will never seek to change or erase, is our history. This club has a very proud history, and celebrating that is always going to be an important part of our brand story. We will continue to honour our past as we look to the future and what that may hold.’