A New Era of the Columbus Crew
There is a buzz around Crew Stadium and it is a very exciting time to be a part of the Columbus Crew. I have been working for the Crew for years but cannot remember a time with so much optimism and excitement. In July of 2013, Hunt Sports Group sold the Columbus Crew, the first club of Major League Soccer, and Crew Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium in the U.S., to Anthony Precourt and Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV). I’m sure there were concerns at first about if the team would stay in Columbus. Immediately that question was answered. PSV believed in the Crew and the city of Columbus and their investment in the Crew meant they were investing in the city as well. Right away, Anthony Precourt’s youthful energy started to permeate throughout the organization. In November, Gregg Berhalter was hired as the new Sporting Director and Head Coach of the team and he hired a new technical staff to assist him. Gregg has years of experience playing in Europe, winning championships in MLS and playing at the highest level with the U.S. Men’s National Team in FIFA World Cups. He is passionate about providing a first-class experience to our players and an attractive competitive style of soccer to our supporters.
Since then, PSV has committed millions of dollars in renovations to Crew Stadium including a new video board, newly widened concourses, renovated locker rooms and renovated team training facility at Obetz. This is only the beginning. The Crew is going through a brand renaissance in the next year. I have never been so proud of the people we work with on a daily basis. We take the responsibility of being the stewards of the Crew brand very seriously. Everyone who supports the club is part of the Crew and we are here to properly represent our supporters, our history and this great city.
This year is also a big year for the sport of soccer in general. It is the summer of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the world’s largest sporting event. Columbus and Crew Stadium have played a vital role in helping the U.S. Men’s National Team qualify for the tournament this summer with FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match wins against Jamaica in 2012 and Mexico again 2-0 in 2013. It will be our job as marketers to make sure that when people experience the world’s game, that they also know they can experience it right here in their own backyard for their hometown club. This year we hope to have several Crew players take part in the World Cup on possibly the U.S. Men’s National Team and the Costa Rican National Team. They will be representing Columbus on the world’s biggest stage and can be seen at every Crew match.
I hope that in the Crew History books down the road we will look back at this period of beginning a New Era in Columbus as a pivotal point in cementing the Crew’s place in this community, this country and globally for years to come.
Arica KressSr Director of Marketing and Promotions Columbus Crew @aricakress