Nationwide, Columbus Crew kick off new chapter of winning partnership
On Saturday, July 3, Nationwide joined a celebratory, sellout crowd of 20,407 Black & Gold-clad fans in welcoming the Columbus Crew to their new home, as the defending MLS Cup champions hosted the New England Revolution for the inaugural match at the state-of-the-art Lower.com Field.
Crew forward Gyasi Zardes made himself at home in the gleaming new stadium by scoring the first-ever Crew goal at Lower.com Field and having a hand in the second goal en route to a 2-2 draw against the Revolution. A few weeks before the much-anticipated stadium opener, Zardes took time to participate in a special video message from Nationwide.
As an official partner of the Crew, Nationwide’s support of the team and its commitment to the central Ohio community was on display in many ways in the week leading up to the historic matchday in the Arena District’s newest attraction.
Nationwide celebrated Black & Gold Week with a message of support lighting up Plaza One and a Crew display greeting Nationwide associates at the main downtown office.
The week also included the dedication of a new mini-pitch at Northgate Intermediate School (VIDEO) in Columbus’ Northgate neighborhood. The Crew’s latest mini-pitch is part of an ongoing commitment, supported in part by Nationwide, to offer children in underserved communities a safe place to play, while providing a soccer environment that encourages unstructured play within local communities.
Back in the Arena District, Battelle Plaza served as the starting point for the first of what will become a traditional March to the Match down Nationwide Blvd.
And at Lower.com Field, Nationwide’s kick-to-win target challenge debuted as a new matchday feature and fans attending the inaugural game were given commemorative flags, courtesy of Nationwide.
Nationwide and the Crew announced their multiyear partnership in February 2020. After highlighting Nationwide Children’s Hospital on the team’s jerseys during the 2020 season, Nationwide assumed the primary position on the kits beginning with the 2021 campaign. Other components of the overall partnership include support of select Crew community initiatives, as well as ongoing collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a shared community partner.