Huddersfield Town is drawing up plans to become a bigger player on Planet Football.
The club – which is already gearing up its commercial operations for the 2018-19 season – is keen to build fan bases in USA, Australia, Denmark, Germany and China.
But commercial director Sean Jarvis stressed; “We will never lose sight of who we are, our roots and our heritage.”
He said: “Our international strategy is crystallising. We are looking at focusing on a number of territories by developing fan clubs or fan bases in the USA, Australia, Denmark, Germany and China. These will be our key targets initially."
The club already has ex-pat supporters in countries such as Australia and America, but Sean said the “hook” to attract new overseas fans would be the players who have associations with those countries, such as Australian international Aaron Mooy, Germany’s Chris Schindler and Michael Hefele and Dane Mathias Jorgensen.
Sean said tourism body Visit England had estimated that fans travelling to watch their club from abroad spent an average of £180 during their visit. “We are looking to engage those supporters who will, hopefully, visit Huddersfield at some point. We are keen to attract a fan base in those areas.”
Sean said the club would be welcoming one VIP visitor in the new year. The owner of online gaming company OPE, Town’s £3m shirt sponsor, hopes to watch the Terriers – appropriately enough during the Chinese Year of the Dog.
Said Sean: “He has seen us play at Crystal Palace, but he is based in South East Asia. He is due to be in the UK around February time and we think he will be at the Bournemouth game. He has expressed a wish to watch the game among the supporters so we will try to arrange that for him.
“We are looking forward to him coming to Yorkshire. I met him in the Philippines about two-and-a-half weeks ago. He loves what Huddersfield Town are doing, what we are as a club and our ethos and persona.”
Sean said the club was also looking at its season card offer for next season and expected to make an announcement about it “fairly soon”.
And he added: “One of our mantras is to try to make it affordable for the economy we live in. It is a balancing act between revenue and costs and making it affordable.”
Sean said the club was also anticipating increased demand for replica shirts next season – regardless of whether the Terriers were in the Premier League or not.
“Next season, we are looking at around 20,000 to 25,000 shirts,” he said. “We have sold about 20,000 this season, which is three times what we normally have. We have certainly established a stronger, bigger fan base than we have previously had. As a consequence, our retail operation is now starting to account for that increase.”