People in Sport

Your ambition
- our dedication

In the early 2000s, former handball player and board member of Bjerringbro FH and Viborg FF, Mads Winther, set a goal together with former professional football player Michael Stensgaard. They wanted to create a transparent Danish agency for elite athletes - People In Sport. This year, they can proudly celebrate that they have since become one of Denmark's leading agencies with today 20 specialists, each working in their own dedicated team for some of the country's best athletes in football, handball and ice hockey.

Mads People in Sport

The aim is to ensure every client's full potential - every time.

People In Sport has offices in Copenhagen and Silkeborg and works with professional players - both the young, the established and those whose professional career is coming to an end. The client portfolio includes names such as Louise Burgaard in Metz Handball, Nicolai Pedersen in Nordsjælland Handball, Lukas Lerager in FC Copenhagen (Genoa CFC), Thomas Delaney in Borussia Dortmund, Anders Lindegaard in Helsingborg IF and many more.

Advice and media management

We advise young talents and established professional players on the sporting, financial, legal, commercial and personal challenges of a fast-paced professional sports world. We also provide assistance with media management. At the same time, we maintain a massive network to all professional sports clubs at home and abroad. The goal is to ensure every client's full potential - every time. We do this by equipping clients in the best possible way for a professional life, keeping track of EVERYTHING behind the sporting achievements.

At the same time, we are focused on making plans for our clients that go beyond their professional careers, so that every player knows what will happen when their career ends.

Photo by Michael Stensgaard 

We wanted to establish a modern Danish agency.

"Through my previous functions in Bjerringbro FH, Viborg FF, SønderJydske and DBU (Dansk Boldspil Union), my experience back in 2007 was that agents and professional clubs often failed to think long-term on a player's behalf. There was rarely an aim of how to secure an elite athlete both athletically, financially and socially beyond the few years at the absolute top level.

In the US at the time, several agents were developing training programs for new elite athletes so that they wouldn't fall apart after their careers, and since I had already worked with Michael Stensgaard in an English agency, we agreed that we would set up a modern Danish agency. In short, our aim was to make things better for all parties in an often cynical professional world," says Mads Winther.

Michael Stensgaard had retired from his professional career with clubs such as FC Copenhagen, Southampton FC and Liverpool FC. Alongside his football career, he had taken a Master of Laws degree specializing in negotiation. With experience from his own career, he had a desire to professionally take better care of elite athletes in all circumstances. Today, Michael Stensgaard is responsible for the football department in People In Sport.

Today, I can proudly say that we work with honest, solid advice and dedicated planning.

"In my own career, I have experienced an agent industry where the focus was unfortunately only on money. Therefore, it was therefore obvious for me to mix my experience as an elite athlete with my law degree, as my heart, both then and today, is passionate about making a difference for athletes so that they can focus 100 percent on what they are good at, "says Michael and continues:

"Today, I can proudly say that we work with honest, solid advice and dedicated planning. We keep track of the legal aspects of the contracts and draw up action plans aimed at creating the best opportunities for the individual - even after the active years. Unfortunately, many elite athletes experience a huge void when their career ends and interest in them drops abruptly. Therefore, we always look at how an active player can have the best possible career, but also qualify for a good life after the professional life," says Michael Stensgaard.

We are there for our clients 24/7

"Today, the pace of development in all elite sports is insanely fast, and if you are a 17-18 year old coveted talent, it can be confusing to know what to aim for and what would be wise when agents and clubs entice you with big checks and words of praise. At the same time, young players are often only advised by their parents, who may not always be aware of some of the contractual and human traps that elite sport is unfortunately so rich in. Not to mention the psychological challenge for many young professionals of sitting alone in a hotel room in an unfamiliar city in search of success.

We are in continuous and very close dialog with our clients, and not only at their request. We want to be there for them, both when they lift the trophies, but also when lack of success, injury or illness challenges them. They know that they can always get hold of us around the clock if they need us", says Michael Stensgaard.

Photo: Thomas Delaney in Borussia Dortmund

Honesty from start to finish

"We make it clear to every new client from the outset how important it is for them to think about long-term career planning. We are honest about their ambitions, opportunities and potential. It's great if, at 17, you dream of representing a football club like FC Barcelona, Flensburg in handball or an American ice hockey team in the NHL. But how do you work towards that goal? And is the first offer always the best, even if the money may be very attractive? That's where we're honest.

We always work to achieve the best results for our clients when we work with the individual to develop goals and career planning. And that requires honesty and transparency from both parties," says Mads Winther, highlighting, for example, Anders Lindegaard, who as a young goalkeeper at OB declared that his highest ambition was to play for Manchester United.

"At that point in his career, it was probably not very realistic, but through serious planning, a huge commitment from Anders himself and the willingness to do whatever it takes, we succeeded in the end because it was our common goal. The opportunity would never have arisen if Anders had not taken serious advice and all the coincidences that are also needed fell into place," says Mads Winther.

There is also a need for calm on the home front

"Each player, regardless of the sport, will always be an individual case for us as a whole team, providing sporting, legal, commercial and human advice. We always draw up objectives and a plan with each client, which we constantly follow up on. And it's not just about the best possible contract. It is always an overall assessment of whether one offer or another is the right one on the road to the agreed goals.

We also always look at whether the young talent or established player is also thinking about the future, such as education along the way. We therefore also work closely with the individual club's sponsors and connections so that we can help both the player and his or her spouse throughout the process.

This could be providing local training opportunities or finding a job for the person who sits at home while the athlete trains several times a day and plays matches at the weekend. Because elite sport today demands so much of the athlete, we also need to create peace of mind at home for all parties," says Michael Stensgaard.

Values of People In Sport

People In Sport works daily to be transparent, honest and straightforward in order to create integrated career plans. Everyone within People In Sport therefore has a background from elite sports or qualifying educations. Today, we consist of a mix of former sports directors, lawyers, accountants, graduate coaches, economists and people with experience from Danish national teams and international careers.

We are aware of all mechanisms when career planning, contracting or advising on the future"

"The fact that we ourselves have been involved at the top level, both on the pitch and in the boardroom, means that we are aware of all the mechanisms when it comes to career planning, signing contracts or advising on the future," says Mads Winther.

"Our biggest challenge today is that most clubs and agents will agree to anything to secure a player's signature. We are different because we always tell the truth, rather than taking a short-term approach to retain a client or attract a new one," says Mads Winther, adding the need for today's elite players to understand that clubs and media are basically only interested in a player as long as they perform at the top level, while contracts and attention disappear when they are no longer useful to the team.

How much does it cost to be a client of People In Sport?

The sports press is often full of stories about everything from money under the table, deals behind a player's back and negotiations over the heads of individual athletes. And that some agents take a very large slice of the pie when contracts are signed.

"We have certainly lost opportunities and clients because we don't want to work in the shady parts of elite sport. In short, we take a fixed percentage of a player's contractual salary. We don't pay clubs to sign a player, nor do we charge to force a contract through.

We want to be different, even if it also means that we often work with a client for free until they get the contract they want. And it is clear that established players with attractive contracts pay for the young talent to get the right advice for free from the start. But it's a fair way for all parties and very transparent," says Mads Winther.

Photo: Christian Kjelder Rasmussen, Ajax Amsterdam with his family.

A professional world requires professional advice

"We often see young talents using their parents as advisors at the start of their career. And of course you have to listen to your parents, but it is rarely qualified enough, as the development is so fast and the demands are so extreme that even my experience from FCK and Liverpool today can not be used for much else than to have an in-depth knowledge of the pressure that lies on an elite athlete in good times and bad.

We at People In Sport have counseling and coaching as our professional livelihood. We have gathered the best of the best people, and we constantly train and aim to learn new things and put together the right teams for each individual."

That's why it's important to get credible, professional advice, because it significantly increases your chances of a successful career. And make sure you get the right advice on how to have a good life after your elite career. We at People In Sport have counseling and coaching as our professional livelihood. We have gathered the best of the best people, and we constantly train and aim to learn new things and put together the right teams for the individual," says Michael Stensgaard.

"As large sums of money are often involved at the top level today, it is important to have an agent/advisor you can trust and who you are in ongoing dialog with, so we can have the difficult conversations with both clubs, player associations, lawyers and others. For us at People In Sport, it is extremely important that you as a top player are not only professional on the field, but also surround yourself with professionals off the field," concludes Mads Winther.

"A lot is based on trust and respect for the situation of both parties in a negotiation, and good agents know that you are only as good as your last deal.

Jan Larsen - Director in Aalborg Håndbold A/S
Business with a human touch

At people in sport, we are driven by our ambition to do business with a human face - business with a human touch.

For us, this means that we work hard to create results - both for the company and for those we work with. At the same time, we have a strong focus on ensuring that our customers and partners feel our passion and presence.

Thomas Løvind Andersen, Partner, People in Sport
Thomas Løvind Andersen - Managing Partner in people in sport

We work on the basis of values where we have to draw on each other's competences, so a football agent learns from a handball agent, for example, and they both also learn from our commercial people.