Play the Game merges with the Danish Institute for Sports Studies


By Play the Game
From 1 January 2011 Play the Game will carry out its work in a new organisational set-up. After many years of close cooperation Play the Game and the Danish Institute for Sports Studies (Idan) have decided to merge in order to strengthen their common tasks: Knowledge production, analyses, conferences, educational initiatives and communication on a broad range of sports political issues.

“We see a strong perspective for the future in creating one environment out of two institutions which are both quite small, but have earned lots of respect in Denmark and abroad. The merger will ensure a bigger critical mass in the staff, a strong synergy in the professional expertise and an increased outreach of the external communication,” says the present chairman of the board of Idan, Mikkel Sarbo, who will continue as chairman of the merger.

Formally, Play the Game will close as an independent institution while Idan will act as the continuing institution with its present director Henrik H. Brandt in charge. Nevertheless the present chairman of Play the Game, Jens Brinch, emphasizes his satisfaction with the new framework for Play the Game:

“For us it has been imperative to ensure that Play the Game can continue as an independent international brand with its current staff intact, and that the goals and activities of Play the Game will be maintained. The only difference that our international users will hopefully notice is that the group of academic and communication professionals behind the initiative becomes wider and stronger,” Jens Brinch says.

Preparations of Play the Game 2011 in Cologne from 3-6 October will not be affected by the new situation. The biennial Play the Game conferences on sport and society will continue to be one of the top priorities of the new organisation and the funding from the Danish Ministry of Culture for the Play the Game conference is secured in 2011.

The new institution hopes to develop a new communication platform and to launch new national and international initiatives in the years to come. The director of the new institute, Henrik H. Brandt, is optimistic about the future:

“Play the Game and Idan have both been hugely successful in terms of generating new knowledge about important sports political issues and raising a lively public debate.  We enjoy a high degree of respect from the most important stakeholders in the sports environment and I am quite sure we will be able to secure strong support for our visions for the future – even in the current economic climate, " Henrik H. Brandt says.

Close co-operation for years
As a member of Play the Game’s Programme Committee for the past three conferences and for the next to come, the former sports journalist Henrik H. Brandt has a detailed knowledge of the goals and achievements of Play the Game.

Likewise, Play the Game’s founder and international director Jens Sejer Andersen has been serving as a board member of Idan since its foundation in 2004, appointed by the Danish Minister of Culture. Jens Sejer Andersen continues in a position as international director of the new institution, while his seat on the board of Idan will be taken over by the present chairman of Play the Game, Jens Brinch.

The close co-operation between the two institutions is not only an issue of personal relations. Idan and Play the Game have often been sharing research and co-organising courses, seminars and conferences.

Play the Game now shifts status from being a independent private institution depending mostly on public funds to being part of an independent public institution set up by the Danish Ministry of Culture. In practice, the working conditions will be unchanged according to Play the Game founder Jens Sejer Andersen who feels confident about the future:

“After functioning seven years as a project and close to seven years as an independent body, it is high time for Play the Game to seek a partner if we want to solidify the struggle for democracy, transparency and freedom of expression in sport. To that end we could not wish for a more ideal partner than Idan.”

Further information

Mikkel Sarbo
Chairman of the board
telephone +45 40556666

Jens Brinch
Chairman of the board
Play the Game
telephone +45 23251792


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