Pro Tips

The 5 Elements of a Great Promotional Sports Video


The Olympics may be a year away, but we’re already thinking of all the action that awaits in Rio in 2016. As we ramp up toward the event, many people will be putting together video pieces to preview the competition, which is why we’re taking a look at the five elements you need to make any promotional sports video great. Watch our own promo below, then read on to find out what they are.

1. Training

Boxer Entering the Ring by reeldealhd

Build tension and suspense with shots of athletes getting ready to compete. Whether it’s training at the gym or on the field, stretching before a match, or conditioning in intense conditions, using clips like this helps set the stage for the main event. (Remember that classic training montage in Rocky? There’s a reason that sticks in your mind.)

Explore more training clips here »

2. Crowds

Crowd at Sports Stadium by NalineEyes

Give your viewers the urge to be there with imagery of crowds reacting to events on the field. The more life and movement there is in the crowd shots you choose, the more compelling it will feel. Your ultimate goal here is to make people feel like they need to be a part of that vibrancy when the main event arrives.

Explore more crowd clips here »

3. Local Culture

A Group Of People Playing Capoeira by frazaoproduction

Add color and relevance to your promo with footage revealing aspects of life in the area where the event will take place. In the case of next year’s Olympics, painting a picture of life in Rio offers context and enhances the desire to be there. Like the other elements, this holds true for any sporting event — just tailor it toward the applicable location.

Explore more local culture clips here »

4. Aerials

Aerial View Of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil by VIAFilms

Using aerials is a great way of providing scope for your video. By showing a bird’s-eye view of a stadium or the surrounding area, you offer the impression of capturing everything at once. It’s the macro perspective that you can balance with the micro perspective of all the other shot types.

Explore more aerial clips here »

5. Competition

Indoor Track Cycling Race by mrivserg

Last but not least, including footage of actual competition offers a preview of the action itself. While everything else sets the stage from different angles, this is where you can make a real visceral connection to what it’s all about.

Explore more competition clips here »

How you balance these five elements is up to you. Of course, you don’t have to use all five, depending on what kind of video you’re making, but if there’s a magic formula, we think this is it. Better yet, if you’ve got some of the footage you need already, but you’re missing some elements (couldn’t afford a helicopter to shoot those aerials?), we’ve got what you need. Explore the collections above for more examples, and check out all the shots used in our own video below.

Explore all the clips used to create the video above in this collection »

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