AS an image, it perfectly reflects the Huddersfield Town playing identity and raison d’etre – certainly over the past few seasons.
Tenacious, unrelenting and determined to overcome the odds against loftier adversaries. In the words of acclaimed American writer Mark Twain, it is not about ‘the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.’
That ‘Terriers identity’ which head coach David Wagner has glowingly referenced during his time at the club is serving Town infinitely well, so much so that the club have incorporated a Terrier logo into their new club strip.
It is a throwback of almost 50 years to when the terrier logo first adorned Town’s kit during the successful 1969-70 and 1970-71 seasons – under another revered manager in Ian Greaves – after former chairman Frank Drabble initially introduced the nickname in his programme notes for a home game against Bolton in September, 1969.
The move to bring back the Terrier on the club’s new strip, commissioned by Umbro, has not been without some controversy, with the dropping of the three stars into the shirt design – a reference to Town’s three successive top-flight titles from 1924-26 – not welcomed by some.
But the overwhelming feedback has been positive, with the fact that the instantly recognisable image will also identity with Town’s growing global audience not lost upon the club hierarchy.
Commercial director Sean Jarvis told The Yorkshire Post: “In terms of the Terrier logo, we introduced it 12 months ago and it was really well received. From there, we have introduced it more and more.
“Make no mistake, the name of Huddersfield Town is here to stay; the Terrier is just an icon we have introduced to add a bit of an extra dimension and to increase our brand profile overseas.
“I think we will see that it is not to everybody’s taste; we get that. But it is a one-off and we are keen to develop it and see how the traction works in other territories.
“We are looking at a ‘global footprint’. You look at places like Egypt and North Africa, the US, Australia, Denmark and Germany. All are equally important.
“It is interesting – somebody made a comment that we might be losing our identity and I said: ‘look at it this way, it is about us taking our Terriers spirit to the world.’ We will never lose sight of who we are. It just means we are spreading our wings a bit and going beyond the local and national arena to an international arena.”
Town’s remarkable exploits in defying the odds over the past two years have resonated far beyond UK shores, with supporters’ groups being established in a number of venues and business opportunities opening for the club with some big global players including German heating manufacturing firm Viessmann –Town’s global partner last season.
Securing another season of top-flight football will increase Town’s burgeoning overseas portfolio further, with the club cultivating a multi-national identity.
“That, for me, has been one of the biggest changes we have seen,” added Jarvis.
We have seen Brazilian, Irish and Australian fans and are seeing pockets emerge. People were interested in Huddersfield Town emerging last year and we have got to try and increase that traction and make them really loyal to the club.Commercial director Sean Jarvis
“We have now started to see supporters’ groups popping up in different parts of the world. We have a commercial partnership with Viessmann and they have brought Germans over to the UK and they are setting up a German supporters’ club, independently.
“Outside of Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool team, I think we are the biggest supported Premier League side followed in Germany, simply because of David and some of the players.
“We have seen Brazilian, Irish and Australian fans and are seeing pockets emerge. People were interested in Huddersfield Town emerging last year and we have got to try and increase that traction and make them really loyal to the club. If we can do, I think they will only grow and get bigger and better for us. This global footprint is huge for Huddersfield Town.
“Our story is not over and you never know where we will go and every year is an unusual year for us and Terriers spirit lives on and we have just got to keep going.”
After racing against the clock to get Town ship-shape off the pitch for a first season of Premier League football last August – with the club only promoted at the end of May – the club have been afforded a bit more time to make further improvements behind the scenes ahead of the start of the 2018-19 season at home to Chelsea on August 11.
The extra time is gratefully received, but work continues apace as the club seeks to further enhance the match-day experience.
Jarvis said: “It was straight into it last summer from June 1. This year, we have had a bit more time, but we are working tirelessly to make sure we are right.
“There are a few things we are still working on, such as refurbishment of the corporate boxes and we’re trying to look at how we can increase capacity a little bit.
“We are also looking at branding around the stadium and there is still a lot of work going on. Of course, the signing of Terence Kongolo and Ramadan (Sobhi) tells you we mean business again.
“If you take out the TV income, commercial revenue has continued to go up. I have recently done a bit of analysis and we are seeing 50 or 60 per cent increases in certain parts of the business. Retail has almost doubled what we did last year. Now we have a bit more traction overseas, we are starting to see sales increase.
“We are talking to an Australian retailer about how we can get some of our shirts into their stores, for example.
“We can only see a building of those commercial revenues. We are also talking to one or two more new people regarding global partners and are at contract stage. That will only help as well.
“I expect commercial revenues to continue to grow. They are not going to double or treble as they did last year, but they will certainly increase again. Double-digit growth, I am certain.”