The Columbus Council on World Affairs (CCWA) announced today that the Columbus Crew has been named International Organization of the Year, an honor that was revealed today during halftime of the Crew’s 2013 Major League Soccer regular-season finale at Crew Stadium.
“Our management team, our staff and our players really believe that Columbus is a tremendous place to live and influence the development of a dynamic soccer culture,” said Anthony Precourt, Columbus Crew Chairman and Investor-Operator. “We are honored to have this positive reinforcement for our efforts and thank CCWA for spotlighting our club as a strong local ambassador to the world and a global ambassador to this region.”
The Black & Gold were honored for the club’s efforts in the community by helping build soccer fields as well as cultivating growth of the game of soccer by becoming an international hub for a global adoration of the sport during the U.S. Men’s National Team “Dos a Cero” victory over Mexico in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at Crew Stadium in September. CCWA recognized that this led new Americans and a diverse group of community members to stand together with the Crew and Crew Stadium throughout 2013.
“The Crew is so fundamentally global, from its sourcing of talent worldwide to its engagement with ethnically diverse fans,” said Russ Austin, President of the Board of Directors at CCWA. “The American players on the team are constantly exposed to the languages and best ideas of co-workers and competitors who were raised in another culture. That is something any organization – sports or not – should aspire to replicate,” Austin said.
Crew representatives will address an audience of more than 700 community leaders when they accept the award in March, 2013. The Crew joins past recipients including the City of Columbus, Cardinal Health and Battelle. Those interested in attending the award luncheon can register at www.columbusworldaffairs.org.
“We are fortunate that the reach and culture of soccer allows us to expose our Columbus region to unique experiences that foster global awareness and enhance the landscape of our smart and open city,” said Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers. “Partnerships with other organizations that promote diversity add intrinsic value to families, and more importantly, the youth in our neighborhoods. We would like to thank the CCWA for this tremendous honor and know this collaboration will grow into something massive.