ISOI Partners with the Minnesota Vikings, MSHSL and NFL Foundation

The InSideOut Initiative—a nonprofit aimed at transforming the “win-at-all-costs” sports culture in communities across the country—will launch February 10 in Minnesota, in partnership with the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), NFL Foundation and statewide education leadership associations including MSBA, MASA, MASSP, MNIAAA, and Minnesota State High School Coaches Association (MSHSCA).

Powered by the NFL Foundation, the InSideOut Initiative catalyzes partnerships with educational leaders, state athletic associations and local NFL teams to address the brokenness of the sports culture and engages stakeholders in strategic conversations to redefine the role of interscholastic sports in the lives of students and communities.

“For sports to provide students with social, emotional character development, we must move beyond defining success by the scoreboard and create space in the culture for a higher purpose,” says InSideOut Initiative thought-leader, Jody Redman. “I’m proud to be part of the team officially bringing InSideOut to Minnesota, and grateful to my colleagues and partners at the Minnesota State High School league for prioritizing and supporting this important work. The InSideOut Initiative team looks forward to continued partnership with the Minnesota State High School League and the Minnesota Vikings, and is grateful to the NFL Foundation for bolstering the already-great work happening in Minnesota.”

The MSHSL is currently gathering leaders from across the region’s educational organizations to discuss the Initiative and plan for its implementation. The February 10, 2020 event will host statewide educational leaders at the Minneapolis Marriott West for a day-long conversation about the importance of purpose-based athletics programs. 

“The mission of the MSHSL is to provide educational opportunities for students through activities and athletics. The InSideOut Initiative is a perfect match in providing the message, the support, and most importantly the curriculum for our coaches, directors and administrators to ensure the educational aspect of our activities,” said Erich Martens, executive director of the Minnesota State High School League. “We know that winning is important to our programs, but intentionally focusing on the social and emotional development of our students through their participation is the true purpose of athletics in an education-based setting. Partnering with the Minnesota Vikings and with support from the NFL Foundation, we can all make a positive impact on the experience that our students have by rewriting the narrative around high school sports in Minnesota. We are thrilled to have the InSideOut Initiative in Minnesota and to have the involvement of our educational partners of MSBA, MASSP, MNIAAA and MSHSCA!”

“The Vikings are committed to leading in the community and by engaging our youth through athletics, wellness programs and social impact,” said Minnesota Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf. “The lessons that high school athletics teach students about character, competition and teamwork are invaluable. Teaching respect for opponents, officials and coaches is also central to our young people getting the most out of their high school athletic experience.”

To make purpose-based sports a reality, school community stakeholders must understand the educational value of sports, align their community around this shared purpose, and be held accountable to the transformative power of what sports can and should be in the lives of student-athletes.  


The Minnesota State High School League is a non-profit voluntary association serving the students of Minnesota with a membership of over 500 schools including public, private, online, charter and home schools since 1916. Its mission is to provide educational and leadership opportunities for students through interscholastic athletic and fine arts programs and provides leadership and support for MSHSL member schools. The MSHSL focuses on programs that are based on the principles of a strong education and teaches students through sportsmanship, recognition and scholarships; and assists in ensuring great experiences by providing education and certification of coaches and officials.


The Minnesota Vikings are more than a football team. The coaches, players, alumni and staff are your neighbors. Their wives or husbands may be your co-workers. Their children attend school with your children. The Vikings are part of our community. Many schools, hospital charities and civic groups have been impacted by player involvement, staff participation and family volunteerism. The Vikings organization is your neighbor too, as a corporate citizen actively involved in policy and service to Minnesota.