A partner since 1997, it's no surprise OhioHealth is willing to show its commitment to the Columbus Crew and the community.
"When we started thinking about what 'the next' could look like, that’s when we really started getting creative about what the team’s goals are and how that mirrors what OhioHealth’s goals for the future are, and both wanting to invest in each other and make an impact in this community," said Crew SC Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Steve Lyons.
The newly announced OhioHealth Performance Center will feature a community sports park in addition to being the Crew's soccer operations hub.
At the core of the organizations' beliefs, it's about making people better - whether individually or in the community, or the team - and that notion was evident in the two sides' initial meetings, Lyons noted.
"I think it was their belief in Columbus. I think it was their belief in the Crew and I think it was their belief that aligning our vision and mission around sports and being competitive and their vision and mission to always give back in the communities in which they do business, I think all those married together."
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OhioHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Steve Markovich spoke on OhioHealth's commitment.
"Well it’s really about the community. We saw this as an investment in the Columbus community and for us that live here and work here and raise our kids here, so that was pretty clear for us," Markovich said. "I think once you look at both organizations, the mission, the values, and the culture - I met with Pete Edwards and his family and I met with the Haslams - there was a chemistry there and I think once we had all those meetings, we were able to put together a really special engagement."
With the Downtown Stadium set to be completed in the summer of 2021, around the same time as the Performance Center, Lyons noted how the foundational partnership with OhioHealth serves as a leading example for the business community, and how OhioHealth's commitment marks a significant investment in the future of soccer in the community.
"This is a huge opportunity for us to further integrate our relationship with OhioHealth but it’s also an opportunity for us to signal to the business community and broader community that we are here to do business and we’re excited to create these partnerships," Lyons said. "For us to continue to grow as a club, for us to compete on the pitch, we need to grow our base of corporate partners and we’re fortunate that OhioHealth is willing to double down and support us."
Overall, the partnership makes sense, not only from a medical expertise aspect for the Crew and its players, but also in aligning two organizations and allowing them to do what they do best in creating a healthier and vibrant community.
As Markovich said, "We are committed to health and wellness, and I think the Crew really exemplifies that and the way they treat the community, the behavior and fitness of their players and their team and their commitment to that."