The Crusaders have revealed a brand new logo that the Super Rugby champions will wear from the start of the 2020 season, while confirming that the team name will not change.
The new logo, which leaked shortly before it’s official launch today, is a Tohu (symbol) that reflects the landscape of the Canterbury region – the top half representing the peaks of the Southern Alps, the bottom the crashing waves of the sea.
The logo also forms a stylised ‘C’ and further emphasises Canterbury’s famous red and black colours, an aspect of the brand that Designworks, the agency behind the rebrand, found fans had the most powerful affinity with.
The Crusaders announced that they’d begin consultation on potentially rebranding the team entirely in the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks in March 2019, but rather than ditch a name with problematic associations, they’ve instead decided to attempt to reclaim the name by emphasising the team’s commitment to “crusading for social improvement and inclusiveness, and crusading with heart for our community and for each other”.
That goal understandably left no room for the old Medieval crusading knight logo and branding, however. And quite asides from the negative associations, it was also felt that the old brand was too heavily influenced by English heritage, as opposed to the broader history of the Canterbury region.
“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,” explained Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge. “For example, we represent the top of the South Island, not just from Ōtautahi or Canterbury, and our team is diverse and multi-cultural. We believe that the logo we have launched today is a much more fitting representation of this team, organisation and its supporters,”
What’s not clear is how much of this new Crusaders logo we’ll see for the 2020 Super Rugby season. Jersey designs are often finalised at least 8-10 months in advance of the season, and the launch only states that they will use the new logo, “as much as is practically possible”.
This does indicate that the soon to be launched regular Crusaders jerseys and teamwear may not have the new logo this season, though the team has confirmed that a ‘very special’ new shirt will be launched in February – potentially an indigenous design that uses the new logo for the first time.
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