The Crusaders will undergo a full review of its name and brand in the wake of the Christchurch shootings.
The Super Rugby champions announced today that they have received the results of the independent research commissioned into their name and brand.
The brand review will commence shortly and any changes recommended by that review will be announced by the end of 2019 and come into effect in the 2021 season.
In the meantime, the Crusaders name will be retained for the remainder of the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but an interim change to the logo will come into effect for next season, with the removal of the knight and sword image.
Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said the research findings will inform the next steps in the process
"Today we are committing to undertaking a thorough brand review, that will cover all elements of the brand, from the organisation and team's values and vision through to the logo and team name," Mansbridge said.
"What is clear from the research is that there are divided views on the name itself, but that people on both sides of the divide are incredibly passionate about this club and what it represents to them.
"A brand is much more than a name or a logo and this research has shown us that it is the values and legacy of this club that really endears us to our fans, so that needs to be the starting point of any discussion about the best way forward."
NZ Rugby boss Steve Tew said the removal of medieval theming was an appropriate step for now, but any further consideration of the brand needs to be broader than a response to one event.
"Even prior to 15 March, the Crusaders had signalled their intention to complete a brand review," Tew said.
"While the events of 15 March have accelerated and escalated that brand review, we do not want this to be solely a response to that tragic event."
Mansbridge added: "We will go into the brand review with open minds ... but no matter what the outcome of that exercise is, one thing that we will never seek to change or erase is our history.
"This club has a very proud history and celebrating that is always going to be an important part of our brand story. We will continue to honour our past as we look to the future and what that may hold."
Research First was commissioned to look into the views of various stakeholders and the general public about the Crusaders brand, and to provide recommendations based on that research.
Allen+Clark also provided research looking into the experiences of sporting bodies internationally that have considered or undertaken a name change.
• Crusaders to retain name in 2019 and 2020
• Logo will drop knight and sword image from apparel and marketing in 2020;
• Full brand review to take place this year to decide future brand for 2021 and beyond