Music For Sports

music for sport

Sports and music share a lot in common: most notably, they provide millions of people with a sense of purpose. And when these two worlds collide, magic occurs. Just think about the rush you feel when you hear the BBC Wimbledon theme tune or the soundtrack to your favourite version of FIFA. Not to be dramatic, but its the kind of rush that makes you grateful to be alive. 

Here, we take a look at the significance of music for sport and the best way to discover the right music for your sports production. Additionally, we highlight standout tracks from our ever-growing collection of epic sports songs taken from playlists such as summer of sport and sports anthems.

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 Sport

  • Why Music For Sports Matters
  • Music for Sports Montages 
  • Where to Get Music For Sport
  • Audio Networks Licence Model
  • How to Find the Right Sound For Your Project
  • Best Music For Sports: Our Sports Projects Playlists

Why Music For Sports Matters

Sports projects allow individuals to put themselves in the shoes of sports players – sometimes figuratively (e.g. sports films), sometimes literally (e.g. sports video games).

The more a viewer, listener or player is able to establish a connection with the athletes, the teams and the sport in general, the more time, money and energy theyre likely to invest in everything that connects them to that sport. 

How can a sports company encourage such relationship building? By employing experience-enhancing sports music, of course.

By simply adding an exhilarating hip hop beat to your basketball podcast intro or a high-octane pop hit to your tennis sneakers advertisement, youre able to drag consumers deep into your sports-centric world.

music for sports

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.

music for sports

Where to Get Music For Sport

All of the music you could possibly need is accessible right here at Audio Network.

Weve got thousands of background music songs to help you jazz up your sports project, no matter what sport it pivots around.

Begin your journey to finding the right track(s) for you by visiting our playlists and discover pages.

playlist hub

Audio Networks Licence Model

One of the prime reasons why creators, producers and businesses employ tracks from the Audio Network catalogue is because we make music licensing as easy as ABC. 

All our customers need to do is pick between two crystal-clear licensing options: single track licensing or subscription licensing.

Needless to say, the former is better suited to those who only require production tracks on occasion, whilst our subscriptions make sense for our corporate, advertising and TV programming clients who are constantly relying on our offerings. 

Find out more about our different music licensing options right here.

music licensing

How to Find the Right Sound For Your Project

In our humble opinion, the key to finding the right sound for your sports project is to start by considering what others have done before you.

Here are some of the best examples of music in sports projects. 

Television

Aside from physically attending a sporting event, the closest a fan feels to the sport theyre passionate about is when theyre watching the game play out on television via live footage and/or highlights and analysis programmes such as Match of the Day

Speaking of Match of the Day, the BBC show possesses one of the best sports music themes ever created. The regal-meets-carnival track brings joy to football zealots across the nation, preparing them for lots of footie fun. 

Film

Sports films are for sports lovers and film aficionados alike – flicks like I, Tonya and Bend it Like Beckham offer insight into the sporting world and are well-crafted movies. 

In 2015s Creed, the final fight scene is accompanied by a rip-roaring track characterised by heavy drums and intense strings. By adding this track on top of the action-packed footage, director Ryan Coogler is able to create a super intense moment. 

Want to view more? Discover our top sports scenes

Gaming

Whether youre an athlete or not, were sure you can appreciate that it can be fun to grab a video game controller and get your head in a sports game. Naturally, its a lot easier to become one with your on-screen character if the video game features atmospheric music

If you happen to be looking for sports game music inspiration, we encourage you to revisit Wii Sports Resort. The transportive soundtrack to this Nintendo video game has had us in a chokehold since 2009. 

Advertising

For decades, the concept of sports has pushed brands to be more innovative. Sneakers have become more shock-absorbing, joggers have become more flexible and versatile, and snacks have become more nutritional. One brand thats constantly evolving in the name of sports is Nike, the globally-recognised Portland-based sportswear brand responsible for some of the best ads to make it to our screens.

For example, Nikes summer 21 ad titled Best Day Ever is diverse, empowering and thought-provoking. The brand ensures they have the viewer's full attention throughout the minute-long commercial by using an exhilarating, engaging background track that grows louder and prouder.

Best Music For Sports: Our Sports Projects Playlists

Now that youve got an idea about the kind of sports background music you may want to feature in your upcoming sports project, its time to dive into our sports playlists.

Summer of Sport

Our Summer Of Sport playlist is bursting with sunny sports tracks that conjure up memories of watching sports in open-air stadiums during the height of summer, or watching a game with your pals in your favourite beer garden. 

Recommendation: Pete Masitti and Andrew Barrows ‘Shamisen Chikara’ is a sports song with personality. The Japanese heavy rock song is uplifting and tenacious – it personally reminds us of a footballer dribbling.

SUMMER OF SPORT

Sports Anthems

If the term sports music’ makes you think of epic, fast-paced songs, we urge you to work your way through some of the songs featured in our sports anthems playlist. Theres catchy K-Pop, hectic ragga trap, tripped out alt-rock and more. 

Recommendation: Jake Shillingford and Nicholas Evans’ ‘We Run This City’ is an epic noise-pop song thats punchy from beginning to end. The unstoppable track is ideal for lively sports events.

sports anthems

Football Sports Chants

Football isnt the same without all of the chanting – it signals community. Over in our football/sports chants playlist, you will find 45+ tracks that encompass the spirit of a footie crowd. 

Recommendation: Neil Williams, Rubens De Souza, Alison Pearse and Rupert Pfaffs ‘Ja Ganhou’ throws you into a rowdy, spirited crowd at the side of a Brazilian football pitch. The beat is infectious and the lyrics are catchy. 

FOOTBALL / SPORTS CHANTS

Extreme Sports

Extreme sports are hair-raising and breathtaking both to watch and partake in. Fittingly, our extreme sports playlist contains hundreds of songs that aim to cause a spike in adrenaline. 

Recommendation: Marc Jackson Burrows’ ‘Strut That Thing’ is tense, powerful trap that moves in unexpected directions. Add this to your extreme sports project to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. 

EXTREME SPORTS

Sports Hip Hop

Hip hop works for sports because – more often than not – it’s music thats enthusiastic, emotional and energetic. If you have your heart set on a hip hop track for your sports production, look no further than our sports hip hop playlist.

Recommendation: Sean Allens Round Here’ is a UK hip hop beat led by a self-assured male rapper. The modish track may be just the thing you need to entice younger generations to check out your project. 

SPORTS HIP HOP

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.

Read More About Music and Sport

Now that weve covered all of the must-know information surrounding music and sports, its time to look at some more specific examples where the two industries overlap. 

Want to read about the Super Bowl? Check out our best Super Bowl ads for 2022 and the best Super Bowl halftime heroes. Keen to hear from the experts? Check out talking music made for e-sports with Team Vitality and sporting moments with Freya Radford, BBC Sports producer. Rather learn more about how sportswear brands utilise music? Take a look at our pieces concerning Nike ads and Adidas ads.

 

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This page was originally published on 21/08/2015 and updated on 20/03/2020 and 11/04/2022

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