Premier League Huddersfield Town forges links with 100 firms to boost economic growth

Premier League football team Huddersfield Town is aiming to boost economic growth by working with 100 of its commercial partners to promote Yorkshire as a great place to live, work and invest.

Sean Jarvis, the commercial director of Huddersfield Town. Picture Tony Johnson.

Sean Jarvis, the club’s commercial director, said the Huddersfield Hundred group, which includes firms of all shapes and sizes, is helping to promote the Northern Powerhouse at a time when economic activity is still focused on London and the South East.

Over the last five years, Huddersfield Town has formed strategic commercial partnerships with 100 local business leaders who share the club’s philosophy. Mr Jarvis said the group had evolved into an organisation that shares the best ways of doing business. The association with the club helps to make them bigger and stronger, Mr Jarvis said.

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They can also form commercial ties with each other. One of the members of the Huddersfield Hundred has already worked with 10 to 15 different club partners.

Mr Jarvis also believes the Huddersfield Hundred has a wider economic role because the group can speak with a powerful collective voice.

He said: “If the companies went by themselves to London, or anywhere for that matter, then they would be a small voice but if you put them all together, you have got 100 voices talking about the area. They’ll be able to do bigger, better, stronger things.”

Mr Jarvis said the club was using the Huddersfield Town brand as a hub to draw a wide variety of brands together to work for the greater good.

He added: “While we play football on a Saturday afternoon, we are a marketplace as well, where you see these individuals coming together. The first part of the conversation might be about Huddersfield Town Football Club, but it then starts to evolve into business and how they can work together.

“In some cases they might not be able to, because they might be in two completely different sectors, but then they can share best practice.

“The business members are a club within a club. It’s not a closed door. They’re trying to help each other and then they can build their own networks and their businesses so they become stronger.”

The club gained promotion to the Premier League, which is broadcast to 226 countries every weekend, in 2017.

Mr Jarvis said the town of Huddersfield resembled a “challenger” brand because it had Leeds and Manchester on either side of it.

The club believes the Huddersfield Hundred is helping to enhance Huddersfield’s reputation as a base for innovative SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

Mr Jarvis added: “We’re trying to create this Northern Powerhouse that we all crave.”

He said the Huddersfield Hundred could help businesses to become stronger in a challenging working environment which included the backdrop of Brexit.

He added: “It’s about how they work together to keep their businesses going and support the families that work for these businesses.”