Music and Pro Sports: A VERY Important Marriage

We’ve come a long, long way from when the only music heard at a pro sport event came from guy playing the organ. That guy still has a job, but has sports have evolved, music has taken on a much, much bigger role in the game experience. Music is the bones on which all in-game production hangs. Music is used to pump up the crowd. Music can motivate the players. And music is used to taunt opposition, the referees and the out of town fans. And let’s not even get into the use of music for all the interstitial occasions: walk-on music, music for the intermissions, music for ceremonies and special occasions.

Music and pro sports go together. They’re inseparable

I’ll have more–much more–to say about this subject very, very soon. But let’s just lay the groundwork with this article from Billboard. Who chooses this music? What songs work best? Where do you go beyond “We Will Rock You” and “Seven Nation Army?” And what’s in it for the musicians?

The Seahawks jam to the Verve‘s “Bittersweet Symphony” and have big love forMacklemore. The Patriots favor Ozzy Osbourne‘s “Crazy Train” and Bon Jovi‘s “This Is Our House.”

Before the Barnum-esque spectacle of the Big Game are the songs that pump up players and fans in stadiums and arenas throughout the season. While teams tend to have their staples, the opportunity for new music exposure is expanding as ticket prices rise.

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“It’s not an inexpensive proposition to go to a professional or collegiate sports event. From the moment the doors open until they close, they are looking to provide a wow experience at the venue,” says Fred Traube, owner of Pro Sports Music Marketing, which brokers deals for music played at pro and collegiate games.

“It all comes down to the song and the message the team is looking to relay,” Traube says. “Certainly a superstar is going to get much more consideration than an unknown band, but the playing field is pretty even. If there’s an artist no one’s heard of but the song is perfect, that’s going to win out over a superstar.”

Continue reading. But like I said, I’ll have more to say on the subject very, very soon.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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