The Crusaders have confirmed their new branding this afternoon, opting to keep their name but "evolve their identity" under a new logo.
The Canterbury Super Rugby club announced this afternoon the outcome of their review into the team's brand after calls for change were made earlier this year in the aftermath of the March 15 Christchurch mosque shootings.
The new logo was posted on the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand website as a trademark currently under examination, a public website, but the Crusaders refused to allow official confirmation until 2pm.
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 Crusades - a series of religious wars that pitted Christians against Muslims.
The review was conducted by brand agency Designworks who also put together the club's new branding with their findings.
In the old logo's place, a new Māori-themed logo will be introduced that represents all Crusaders supports, chief executive Colin Mansbridge said.
"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 club 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 club says 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 Māori whakataukī [saying] "mā pango, mā whero, ka oti te mahi" which translates to "with red and black, the work is complete".
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said 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 both in marketing and at games "as much as practically possible" the club said.