How does a song become a sports anthem, a lasting and effective game-changer that gets people out of their seats and into the moment? It is not easy. It takes a highly infectious, undeniably upbeat, and often nonsensical song to bring people, players, teams, and entire fandoms together.

From “Thunderstruck” to “Tubthumping,” and everything in between, here are 12 irresistible sports anthems.

1. “Pump Up the Jam” – Technotronic

From its opening whore, all you want to do is dance to this dance hit. Singable lyrics paired with an infectious, energetic beat, sure, “Pump Up the Jam” would be repeated in any sports arena.

2. “Let’s Begin” – Black Eyed Peas

The bloody, hype-worthy hit by the Black Eyed Peas was used as the promotional song for the 2004 NBA playoffs. “Let’s Get It Started” has stuck ever since.

3. “Tubthumping” – Chumbawamba

There’s something about “Tubthumping” that brings people together. Maybe it’s all in the invincible lyrics: I get knocked down, but I get back up / You’ll never hold me back

4. “YMCA” – Villager

Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t put their hands up for the YMCA. It’s the common, crowd-pleasing dance moves that have made this Village People classic a lasting hit at sporting events.

5. “Oops! It’s there” – Tag Team

Do you even score if “Whoomp! That’s it” doesn’t play?

6. “Song 2” – Blur

The only words anyone knows are the woo whoos, but “Song 2” is still an arena mainstay with its irresistibly hard-hitting rock arrangement.

7. “Rock and Roll Part 2” – Gary Glitter

The guttural rhythm is invigorating. The twangy guitar riff is refreshing. Especially when your team drops 30 yards in the 7th inning and could really use a few hoops or whatever. Sports.

8. “Sandstorm” – Darude

Such a catchy song doesn’t need words. Whether in the club or in the stands, “Sandstorm” puts people on their feet.

9. “I Like To Move It” – Reel 2 Real (feat. The Mad Stuntman)

It may be repetitive and slightly boring, but “I like to move it” makes you want to… move it. It draws the blood and the job is done.

10. “It’s Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody’s Dancing Now)” – C&C Music Factory

Presented on a ESPN– 1995 sports-themed compilation album, titled Jock Jams, Volume 1, “Everybody Dance Now” has remained a game-day classic. With untouchable vocal ranges and unbeatable beats, following the song almost feels like a sport in itself.

11. “Thunderstruck” – AC/DC

Manic and menacing, “Thunderstruck” brings the action to any moment. An effective song that, for lack of a better word, thunders when played, the AC/DC melody has found its way into Iron Man movies, at sporting events and in our hearts.

12. “We’ll rock you” – Queen

“We Will Rock You” feels like it was meant to be more than a song. The heady, rhythmic anthem is equally powerful when stomped on its own or pounded by the feet of a stadium. Letting the other team know they’re about to get rocked, there’s a reason the Queen classic is often followed by “We Are the Champions.”

Photo: Courtesy of Sony Music


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