Case Study - Huddersfield Town Football Club

Sharing information “quickly” is crucial for a Premier League football club. 

Commercial Director Sean Jarvis tells us how Huddersfield Town Football Club’s longstanding relationship with Abzorb continues to evolve. 

Tell us about your role at HTFC Sean…

I’m the Commercial Director for Huddersfield Town Football Club and one of the board members here. My role and responsibilities are to generate income for the club - so that’s everything from hospitality, sponsorships, partnerships, advertising and all those revenues streams that keep football clubs alive and help pay the salaries to some of our players here. It’s quite far reaching, I include retail and digital that we do here at The John Smith Stadium, it is very varied, and we’ve got a good team here that certainly move the club in the direction we want it to go. 

You’ve got a lot of commercial partners and you’re a busy Premier League football club. Tell us about Abzorb and how the relationship first started and has since evolved?

It started around eight years ago. We’d heard about Abzorb, but they were a little bit of an unearthed diamond, a diamond in the rough that we wanted to get to know. We had a couple of meetings with their directors about their services, talked about Huddersfield Town and I think both organisations saw similarities in each other. A real desire to develop and become one of the shining lights in this part of the world. I think over the last eight years we’ve progressed, we’re in the Premier League and I think Abzorb are regarded as one of the best businesses around and they’ve won lots of awards. So, it was a meeting of minds at that point - it’s been fantastic, we’ve learnt from each other and the word partnership can’t be underestimated. Abzorb have brought an awful lot to the party, a lot of their expertise has been useful in helping Huddersfield Town, so the partnership has worked extremely well for us and long may it continue.

What services have Abzorb provided that you have taken hold of and made particular use of in helping HTFC to grow?

Over the past 10 years, the club has grown considerably, from a League One football team right through to the Premier League. In that time there’s been a series of challenges in terms of growth. The sharing of communication between our site and two other sites we have has been important. Abzorb have been instrumental in using their expertise in making sure we have high speed connection for our sites – including our training ground. As a business it means we can progress and develop and can share information very quickly rather than in more old school ways.Other elements Abzorb have brought in to help us are the telephone systems. We had issues a few years ago whereby we’d get a raft of incoming calls if a big match was released and people were trying to get tickets. Abzorb came to us and gave us advice on how to handle that, so we could then monitor and deal with the information that came in. It has improved our customer service as a whole. The knock-on effects of that was increased commercial revenues for the football club so we were far more efficient in our approach. Abzorb’s transfer of knowledge to us has been outstanding and helped us improve our business practice while reducing any complaints we’ve had as well. 

Finally, last season was remarkable for Huddersfield Town. It gripped not just people in this area but the whole country and became a great survival story. What’s next for the club from a commercial perspective? 

The next chapter for Huddersfield Town is an exciting one. Go back 10 years and the club has progressed year on year - averaging around 15%. That combined with us moving up the football pyramid has been excellent. Getting into the Premier League was obviously a massive achievement and retaining that status was superb. All that has now enabled us to look at how we develop even faster. We’ve always got a plan about how to develop Huddersfield Town and how we can grow. 

There’s a lot in the pipeline - the training facilities are undergoing a major refurbishment. Around £20million is being invested in that. As a football club we continue to grow our global footprint and are trying to get 24,000, week in week out to watch the games. It’s not necessarily about how we fill the stadiums now but how we increase our profile. We’ve seen various countries from around the world support Huddersfield Town so it’s important for us that we capitalise on that support, retain the loyalty of that fanbase which will then generate income for the club to develop even further. So really, it’s a continuation of the path we’re on. The strategy however is not just about our area, it’s about how we take our area to a global audience, which the Premier League allows us to do. Technology will play a big part in that with more and more of it coming into the industry with augmented and virtual reality. We’re looking at ways to push the boundaries of the football club and the business that we’re in, so it’s very much exciting times ahead.

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