Background Music For Sports

A footballer kicks a ball high and another sports person is layered in the background

The team takes to the pitch, full of bullish enthusiasm. The dramatic penalty shootout. Crossing the finish line in a record-breaking time. Being awarded an Olympic gold medal. From the guts and glory of the winners to the sorrow of just missing out on that podium place – you need the best music for sports highlights to accompany all the sporting highs and lows.

In search of inspiration? Here are 5 top tracks for background music for sports:

'Move & Fire' by Gareth Johnson

'Demon Slayer' by Mark Denis & Randy Gist

'Dark Bass' by Sean Allen

'Riddim' by Martin Felix Kaczmarski

'Better' by Paul Leary & Andrea Rocha

Music for Sports Montages

Highlights packages can get hundreds of thousands of views – because they can feature a lot of athletes – so are an extremely valuable piece of online content. Plus, they can reach fans around the world - Manchester United’s Facebook followers total more than 70 million, and the club is reported to have an estimated 250 million fans in China alone. Plus, you can use a highlight package for sponsors and partners, or use it as a promo for next year’s event to generate excitement.

When you’re putting together a sporting montage, whether it’s for football or athletics, cricket, rugby or racing, here are our top tips:

  • Make sure your video equipment is fully charged – and that you’ve got extra batteries and a tripod to keep everything steady
  • If you’re new to video editing, then choose software that’s easy to use such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, before upgrading to Final Cut or Adobe Premiere
  • Gather your graphics – make sure you’ve got access to tournament logos, sponsor logos and any other graphics you might need
  • Get plenty of close ups – expressions from the athletes, coaches and the crowds can all add drama and are great for cut-aways
  • Make sure you have plenty of variety - don’t forget the establishing ‘before’ shots of athletes prepping to take to the pitch or the track – it all adds flavour and atmosphere
  • Can you tell a story? What’s the beginning, middle and end of your action? Try to build a compelling narrative
  • And mix it up – if you’ve got lots of goals, break them up with defence shots or dramatic saves to create interest
  • In the edit, keep it short! The most popular videos are between two and four minutes
  • Choose the sports music that will help with pacing and impact

When you’re using background music for sports video, first make sure you’ve got permission to use it.

What emotions are you trying to make your viewer feel? If you’re going for excitement and joy, then you’ll need something really uplifting. If you want pure emotion, then try a slower, more poignant piece. Action sport music needs drama and intensity, so pick a track with big highs and lows. Something to bear in mind is whether you can match the lyrics of your track to tell the story of your action – or help to tell a story, if you’re struggling to build it into a narrative? Or if you’re using a track that builds, then you can start off with longer clips, then build up to quicker, more dramatic highlights as the track really takes off.

Background music for sports videos

Here’s our pick of the top tracks for background music in sport, depending on the feel or emotion you’re looking to create.

Sports music for drama

When your team is going into battle, or facing an uphill struggle against the opposite side, you want something with plenty of drive, attack and intensity. If you’re looking for a track that will gradually build atmosphere and against-all-odds tension, look no further than 'Rise to the Top', which has a powerful orchestra and a choir building to a heroic climax.

Or go for hard-hitting trap beats with 'Shadow Gangsta' or the sheer power of Japanese taiko drums, which were originally used by feudal warlords to command troops and raise morale – Araumi Goe will definitely fire everyone up.

More in the mood for rock guitars and tough beats? Try 'Counterblow', which would suit motorsports or off-roading.

Emotional sports music

'Your Time to Shine' – this really does what it says on the tin with euphoric vocals, emotive piano and a dash of anthemic indie rock. Or the suitably titled 'Dream the Dream' features a gorgeous, solitary piano, which builds with stirring strings.

Background sports music for winners

Medal winners, cup collectors and more – choose big, bold, upbeat tracks such as

'Born to be a Winner' which features powerful horn riffs with plenty of swagger.

Or how about 'Oyster King' - big, bold and uplifting, this has the feel of a classic 60s or 70s sports montage.

For a feel-good, summer winner’s vibe, go for 'Festival', or some infectious urban beats, courtesy of 'Harlequin 3'.

Inspirational sports music

Aiming for a ‘reach for the stars’ vibe? You’ll need 'Rocket Launch' – or why not try a classical track? 'Jerusalem' is often used for big England rugby matches, or a quick blast of 'Zadok the Priest' is great for a build up with a triumphant ending.

The best sports montages

Looking for inspiration? These are great examples of uplifting and dramatic sports montages with the background music to match.

1/ The incredible ICC Cricket World Cup Final Finish 2019

Did it get more nail-biting than the incredible ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2019? After seven weeks’ play, it came down to a ‘super over’ and two nations held their breath. The agony and the ecstasy of winning and losing were expertly captured in this montage.

2/ London’s 2012 Olympic Coverage

First Steps was written by Elbow’s Guy Garvey for the BBC’s Olympic coverage and performed by the band with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the NovaVox Gospel Choir.

3/ The 2015 Rugby World Cup

World in Union became the sound of the Rugby World Cup – with its sentiment of, ‘If I win, lose or draw, it’s a victory for all’ it was a strong statement of the power of sport to unite nations. Featuring Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins, Lesley Garrett, Aled Jones and others, it demonstrates how effective an operatic vocal can be when teamed with dramatic sports action.

4/ Kobe Bryant – Till I Collapse

The basketball legend’s montage has had over 5 million views, soundtracked by Eminem’s 'Till I Collapse'.

5/ The Most Beautiful Moments in Sports

Fancy some heartwarming and emotional sporting moments? This compilation has clocked up a massive 28.5 million views, with music from Whitesand and Mount Olympus.

For sheer spectacle in terms of music and sports, there’s little to beat the halftime show at the NFL Super Bowl season finales. Check out our pick of the top 5, from Beyonce to U2.


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This page was originally published on 21/08/2015 and updated on 20/03/2020

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