Save the Crew movement hits the big screen
Thousands of people who will be heading to the theaters this weekend to see the new Star Wars movie will also see a new effort to stop the Columbus Crew SC from moving to Austin. Crew supporters made a short commercial to make the case for what's at stake if the team leaves.
Just like in the movies, the idea started on a napkin.
"How would we feel if something else left so we sat down and sketched this out real fast," said Tobias Roediger, the creative director for the Rave advertising agency in Downtown Columbus and an avid Crew supporter. "What it will look like if we lost the Horseshoe or Leveque Tower or any one of these icons that make Columbus Columbus so imagine Columbus without these things and that's what we're losing if we lose the Crew."
The commercial will air at five AMC theaters in Columbus this weekend. It shows a series of Columbus landmarks disappearing. Roediger is one of many Crew fans who has been lending his time and talents to save the team he loves.
"There's a core group of people who know about this, care about it, love about it, tweet about it all the time but in a greater metro area of 2 million people there's a lot more people that need to know about this," he said.
Other fans have volunteered their time to create websites, mobile apps and marketing plans. Another supporter just finished an hour-long documentary about the team and its possible relocation to Austin.
"I thought, 'well, what can I do to help?" said Sean Kelly who produced the documentary "Save the Crew: The Fans Vs. The System". "My understanding of Columbus as a foreigner was the Columbus Crew. That was the one thing I knew about the place."
Kelly used his 15 years of experience working in television to put together the video with no budget and only a week to get it done. It's been viewed thousands of times and was picked up by a British fan network called Ball Street. Kelly said he wanted to take the fight to save the Crew to an international audience.
"We considered there might be a chance to change the debate slightly and maybe convince Major League Soccer and Precourt Sports Ventures that Columbus is not worth giving up on," he said.
Kelly said he planned to make more videos in the future. He said he didn't want the movement to die down even though it's the offseason for the Crew.
Team officials with the Columbus Crew SC declined to comment.