The Crusaders confirmed their new branding on Friday, opting to keep the club’s name but ‘evolve their identity’ under a new logo.
The Christchurch-based Vodacom Super Rugby franchise announced on Friday the outcome of their review into the team’s brand after calls for change were made earlier this year in the aftermath of the mosque shootings in the city on 15 March.
The review, which was launched in June, looked at a wide range of topics including the club’s identity and the possibility of changing the team’s name, along with finding a replacement for the old logo which featured a medieval knight brandishing a sword, which critics said had connections to the Crusaders – a series of religious wars that pitted Christians against Muslims.
In the old logo’s place, a new Maori-themed logo will be introduced that represents all Crusaders supporters, chief executive Colin Mansbridge explained.
‘When we took a thorough and honest look into who we are, the imagery we were using – with its nod to Christchurch’s English heritage – did not effectively portray the region we represent or who we are as a team,’ Mansbridge said.
‘For example, we represent the top of the South Island, not just from Ōtautahi or Canterbury, and our team is diverse and multi-cultural. The franchise says the new logo is shaped by the region’s natural landscape ‘which stretches from the top of the Southern Alps to the depths of our moana’.
The Tohu takes the forms of the letter C – a move the Cruaders say nods to their legacy while moving forward with their new branding, which also features the Cantabrian colours of red and black.
Also tied to the new brand is the Maori whakatauki [saying] ‘ma pango, ma whero, ka oti te mahi’ which translates to ‘with red and black, the work is complete’.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson believes the team’s history, which includes 10 Super Rugby titles and many All Blacks greats, was integral to the review and played a big role in keeping the side’s name.
‘When you’re a leader you’ve got ot know where you’ve come from to know where you’re going, and the legacy of this club is a big part of who we are,’ Robertson said.
The new branding will be introduced next year in marketing and at games ‘as much as practically possible’ the Crusaders confirmed.
Photo: Crusaders Rugby