New Zealand's Crusaders change logo after Christchurch attack

    (CNN)One of New Zealand's top rugby union teams the Crusaders has scrapped its knight and sword logo after a brand review in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

    The Christchurch-based side has opted for a Maori motif in place of the Crusades imagery following March's attack in which a gunman opened fire at two mosques, killing 51 people.
      It did, however, decide to retain its name, despite criticism it was closely linked to the medieval religious wars between Muslims and Christians.
      "Ultimately, it was decided that no name better represented the club's commitment to living its values -- crusading for social improvement and inclusiveness, and crusading with heart for our community and for each other -- than 'Crusaders' did," the club said in a statement.
      The 10-time Super Rugby champions -- the club competition that features teams from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Japan -- adopted the name 23 years ago, and formerly featured horsemen dressed in chainmail and carrying swords ahead of home games.
      The logo has been changed to a Maori motif, with the proverb: "ma pango, ma whero, ka oti te mahi" which translates as: "with black, with red, we can achieve."
      "Once we had a clear identity story, we needed to ensure we have a brand that accurately and authentically reflects that moving forward. The research showed us that the brand element people most strongly connected with was our colors -- red and black," said Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge.
      "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.
      "We believe that the logo we have launched today is a much more fitting representation of this team, organization and its supporters."
      The Crusaders pre-match entertainment involved performances from knights on horses was canceled following the Christchurch attack.
      However, the rebrand has received criticism in some quarters. A petition to stop a rename received more than 38,000 signatures and there has been critical feedback across social media about both the new logo and the Crusaders name.
      One journalist described the Crusaders reasoning for sticking with its name as "the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Another comedian suggested that failure to change the name meant it would be a "constant awkward thing people can't agree on."