To finish 2012 we experienced ‘Gangnam Style’, now the next viral Youtube clip for 2013 is the ‘Harlem Shake’. The viral video has prompted many elite sporting teams to perform their own take, most notably the NBA team Miami Heat lead by Lebron James as King James. Crazes and viral topics allow sporting teams to provide entertainment of a different kind than just the excitement of sport the athletes participate in. Offering some comic relief through such videos offers fans a different insight into the daily lives of an organisation and athletes.
The videos are roughly 30 seconds long and are performed with no real choreography or formal dance experience required. Participants range from players, coaches, fans and mascots dressed as if it were Halloween “dancing” to Baauer’s ‘Harlem Shake’ song. Most of the videos start with one individual in a mask dancing by themselves surrounded by a group whom don’t take much notice until the beat drops in the song when mayhem breaks loose.
If you haven’t seen one by now it’s okay, below you will find the top 10 Shakes performed by sporting teams and a list of FORTY other videos from different leagues and sports around the world, such as the NBA, MLB, NHL, EPL, College sports, AFL and NRL. Comment to let us know which one is your favourite and why, enjoy.
THE TOP 10
1. University of Georgia Men’s Swim & Dive Team
This has to but number one for one main reason, it’s performed underwater! Along with that, the setting up of the table and chairs are another feat in itself and lastly the student performing the shake in a sleeping bag underwater, gets a difficulty score of 10.
2. NBA Miami Heat
Miami’s shake starts with Chris ‘Birdman’ Anderson acting as his namesake, followed by Lebron James leading the team as ‘King James’. The Heat decided to perform an extended version with close ups of James, Chris Bosh with a blinged out boombox, a dancing bear and Ray Allen as the Phantom.
3. University of Maryland Men’s Basketball Game
A very impressive Harlem Shake which involves the student sections at the Maryland’s basketball game versus Duke. This is a great example of the craze being used in a unique way to engage fans at a live event. The songs prior are very impressive to watch as well. (1:35)
4. University of Kansas Men’s Basketball Team
This is the first video where we see a coach involved. Bill Self is seen coming up with plays for the team but isn’t having much success until he writes ‘Harlem Shake’ on the board. It’s always great to see a grown man dressed as a baby as well.
5. NBA Denver Nuggets
Denver’s rendition is impressive because of the Nugget’s centre JaVale McGee dressed as the predator, watch out!
6. University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Team
What better way to celebrate a win . . . . . than performing the Harlem Shake. Unfortunately no props or costumes, but definitely style points for the dance at the beginning.
7. EPL Manchester City
Manchester City is the first English Premier League team to perform the Harlem Shake, featuring many superheroes, i guess they were recruited to catch up on the table.
8. AFL Hawthorn FC
The first Australian sporting team to make the list involves a chicken being a chicken in the gym until a penguin and the Tasmanian devil arrive. I am unsure what the player in the bin is doing but i guess that’s what the Harlem Shake is all about.
9. NRL New Zealand Warriors
The New Zealand Warriors performed their Harlem Shake during a news report on a plane, yes on a plane. I don’t know if any safety regulations were breached but it’s safe to say people aren’t meant to fit in the overhead luggage stowaway (3.00)
10. NBA Toronto Raptors
To round off the top 10 we have the Toronto Raptors. Amir Johnson decides to interrupt Dwayne Casey during a halftime speech wearing an alien mask. Why this rounds out the top 10 you ask, the extended solo by the giant mouse at the end.
NBA Harlem Shake Videos
NBA All-Star Jam
mascots, mascots, mascots, mascots and MORE mascots!
Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter star together in their simple rendition inspired from the 60’s
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs players haven’t performed a Harlem Shake yet, but that hasn’t stopped the Spurs staff from getting involved!
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors felt as though one Harlem Shake wasn’t enough. In their video they have brought us: the Arena Shake, Tunnel Shake, #Bazemourning Shake and Pre-game Shake!
Another staff video, this time in the Sun’s team store. The players don’t always get to have the fun.
Harry the Hawk with some lucky fans in the 6th man section get into the spirit of things at the game
The Bobcats weren’t happy with just one performance like Golden State, they have created an in game edition along with a team store special.
Orlando’s mascot STUFF leads this all out mayhem clip featuring fan’s at the Amway Centre
Minnesota Timberwolves – The Anti Harlem Shake Edition
If you're not a fan of the Miami Heat you will definitely enjoy this clip. The Timberwolves mascot is seen hitting a fake lebron james with a bat, a video which was screened at the game. Unfortunately the inspiration didn't rub off on the players to well.
MLB Harlem Shake Videos
Kansas City Royals
With spring training coming to a close a couple of the Royals players decided to celebrate.
Between selling memberships and tickets, the sales team at Oakland managed to fit in a Harlem Shake during lunch!
What's impressive about the Marlins performance is the use of costumes! look at the size of the crab and the seahorse.
I think the players weren’t too happy with their current warm up routine, I guess they found a new one!
Super Rugby Harlem Shake Videos
Speechless on this video, superman I believe almost knocks himself out on the camera.
I don't quite understand the romantic affection with the weights, but the energy is definitely there from the Blue’s.
NFL Harlem Shake Videos
With NFL teams currently on break it was left to the rookies, and they haven’t disappointed. See if you can spot any future NFL stars.
NCAA Harlem Shake Videos
University of Kentucky
ESPN’s College Gameday and Kentucky fans have produced a great video with their own interpretation of the Harlem Shake song, so if you're sick of the song you will LOVE this one.
Florida Gators (Live edition)
Wanting to get the crowd involved in half time entertainment, the Gators have found a solution.
Florida Gators (Again)
I believe they learnt their lesson from this version as it was lacking energy and participants, check out the dead cockroach!
University of Texas
I believe things are always bigger in Texas
University of Oregon
The Duck has come to fool everyone! Just when you think no one is going to Shake with him, there is a sudden rush of madness!
University of Nebraska
First practice at spring training for the football season is a great opportunity to get penalties out of the system . . . . . . . . and the Harlem Shake.
University of Georgia Tech
Not quite up there with Georgia’s underwater performance but are they walking on water?
University of Southern Miss
I guess we all knew Seymour wouldn’t be alone for long.
University of Tennessee
Another swim team edition featuring a gorilla and some handstands.
University of Georgia
Another video from Georgia but this is the land based version, DAWG style, from the football team.
I am not too sure if this is the best environment to take your first date or even slow dance in.
South Dakota University
The effort is there but the participants are not.
AFL Harlem Shake Videos
Saint Kilda FC
Great effort by the players and the mascot but i am not too sure if the fans were too impressed judging by their top comment: “Thats cute and all, but i would like to see a flag in my lifetime. Thanks”
NRL Harlem Shake Videos
Gold Coast Titans
I guess you have to be in it to win it they say. Props to the cheerleader for hanging upside down!
Sorry did I interrupt a yoga class?
An impressive showing of enthusiasm from the Sharks team and where did the motorbike come from?
National Hockey League Harlem Shake Videos
With the energy they saved during the lookout the Coyotes players put it to good use on the ice.
Columbus Blue Jackets
A dancing bug, cheerleaders, beach balls and tenpins are standard in a Harlem Shake video now.
Racing Harlem Shake Videos
Jeff Gordon (NASCAR)
The Harlem Shake isn’t just for team sports, team bonding in racing is essential.
Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)
Jimmie just wanted to keep on celebrating his Daytona 500 win, and his crew were happy to oblige.
Red Bull Racing (V8 Supercars)
Red Bull gives me wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings. The Harlem Shake has now been shown to reduce stress levels after working long hours, or is that delirium?
Sauber Team (Formula One)
This would make for some interesting viewing if each pit crew had to perform the Harlem Shake prior to refueling and tire changes.
English Premier League Harlem Shake Videos
Keep calm and do the Harlem Shake! A great version by the Fulham players with some smooth moves by Billy the Badger.
No more Harlem Shake videos….
That's it! 50 Harlem Shake videos from the world of sports.
Harf Time discuss Harlem Shake
Sean discussed it on Harf Time and declared it over, explaining memes are getting quicker and have a shorter lifespan than ever before.
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Kelly: It’s time to talk sport and put a bit of a digital media spin on it, our digital media guru Sean Callanan is up nice and early for this Saturday morning. Morning Sean!
Sean: Morning Kelly!
Kelly: What’s caught your eye this week?
Sean: Oh it’s not just this week but all through pretty much February the Harlem Shake is taking over the internet.
Kelly: Now I’m pleased you brought this up because can you explain something for me? What is the Harlem Shake?
Sean: So the Harlem Shake is an internet meme, it’s a You Tube meme and it’s pretty much, been doing a bit of research on it, it’s going so viral there are so many different copies of it. Apparently it’s been attributed to a couple of teenagers in Queensland that have done the first one.
Sean: Apparently. The way it goes is there’s a song Harlem Shake by a band called Bower, so maybe Francis will have to put that on his playlist soon. So that plays and it just sort of builds and builds, and the video goes that you have one guy just dancing and everyone else is not paying attention. And then when the beat drops about fifteen seconds in, everyone goes crazy. So they’re dancing and costumes and it goes for about thirty seconds.
Kelly: Is this it? The Harlem Shake?
Sean: That might be it in the background, yes. So as it starts there’s a bit of head bobbing and dancing by the casual guy and then when it goes…
Kelly: You’re not going to make us do it are you?
Sean: No we’re not going to do it now, we might do the Grandstand Harlem Shake next week when Francis is back because I know he’s going to want to be involved.
Kelly: That’s our producer Con that’s got his finger on the beat there.
Sean: But you know an internet meme has hit its zenith when you get the best basketball player on the planet, Lebron James, joining in.
Kelly: I knew Portland had done this…
Sean: There have been a few sports teams jumping on the band wagon of it and there is a bit of how long is this thing got if you do it, if you done it too late, you don’t want to jump the shark and there is a bit of that with the Harlem Shake but if you haven’t checked out the Miami Heat version with Lebron James…
Kelly: The entire team.
Sean: The entire team in the locker room with Lebron James in full king gear, crown and red cape. Dwayne Wade in a full – what can only be described as a – furry bear costume. Chris Bosh as a pimp…
Kelly: These are the coolest dudes on the planet.
Sean: And they’ve done it, they’ve done it because that’s what their generation is consuming YouTube. We’ve seen how Matt Duffy from the Storm did one when they were over in the UK and he uploaded that on his own account. So you’ve got players doing it, you’ve got my son’s school has done one, so everyone has done one. If you haven’t starred in a Harlem Shake video you don’t know what you’re doing!
Kelly: So when does it become not cool anymore?
Sean: Well that’s to be decided. Last year we had Psy and Gangham Style and everyone did that and then it eventually fell off the cliff.
Kelly: When Novak Djokovic did that at the Australian Open I was going ‘That’s just weeks old and I’ve seen you do it a hundred times and it’s not funny’.
Sean: When we see the Today show do the Harlem Shake, put a line through it. So last year we had Call Me Maybe and everyone did that…
Kelly: Which one was that one?
Sean: I’m not going to start singing but the Carly Rae Call Me Maybe song. So the swimming teams did it but it’s even…
Kelly: And the British Olympic team did it.
Sean: Exactly. But there’s even been the Colorado College ultimate Frisbee team, yes there is actually a Frisbee team, did one on a plane when it was in mid air! And now the FFA in the States are now looking into it, but really Frontier Airlines where it was held can’t really complain because they did a Harlem Shake two days earlier in one of the airports while they were having a layover. So it’s pretty much everywhere at the moment! Hawthorn’s done it, I expect a few more Australian football teams maybe to do one, one or two. But yeah it’s a wonder how much it’s got left.
But Sport Centre put up a graphic, had to explain it to everybody who didn’t know what it was that it caused the Miami Heat Harlem Shake to get more coverage than NHL on sports centre. Quite funny and just a matter of you have to get in quick and get it done because after a while everyone will be saying ‘Not another Harlem Shake!’ But if you go to YouTube put in Harlem Shake, there you go that’s your afternoon, there’s four or five hours of viewing right there!
Kelly: Now you know everything about digital media, where do these things start? I mean could you and I this afternoon just sit there and think let’s come up with a concept and put it out there on YouTube, but how do people pick up on it?
Sean: That’s always the toughest brief. Everyone goes ‘Oh we’re going to do a video, we want it to be a viral video’. You can’t pick them. You can try to put elements that might be viral and in this case it’s copying it, but like I said earlier a couple of teenagers did it as a comedy sketch and it got picked up and people did copies of it. So it’s a bit hard to say, who would have thought that Gangham Style would have gone as big as it did. You can’t bank on it, it’s just pretty much…there’s a lot of people putting out a lot of content, there is a lot of people that do consume that short video type of stuff. If you put up enough wacky stuff, people will like it and if it’s something you can make your own version of it, that’s when it becomes its own thing, the original producers don’t get anything out of it, it just becomes this thing. Whereas Psy the guy behind Gangham Style made millions because so many people watched his YouTube clip and he got all that money off the YouTube advertising. So he’s actually made more money from YouTube advertising from people watching his video on You Tube than actually selling the record. And part of that is people doing copies.
Kelly: So from a club perspective, the Hawthorn officials or the Miami Heat officials if you can tell those boys what to do, but would they be happy with this? Are they happy that they get together, obviously it’s good sort of moral and things but the actual hits. I notice the Hawthorn Football Club put it out on their website. Is that a bonus, are they trying to push that?
Sean: Oh definitely. Because all their fans would love it. When you’re marketing as a club, you’re always marketing to your fans. If your fans will love it, it’s a no brainer. It doesn’t matter if anyone else likes it or doesn’t like or thinks it’s stupid. If Hawthorn fans thinks it’s awesome and gets people to the site and grows the brand and they share it with their mates and they share it on Facebook and it’s bringing people back to the site and they see the membership message, tick, tick, tick, it works on all the levels. So you’re always trying to come up with, the other clubs are coming out with their club TVCs, they really want those to come viral between the fans and share them but we’re getting desensitized to ads and things like that. So this is just another way to give a little bit of quirky content that gets out there. And I’m sure the Miami Heat digital guys didn’t go up to Lebron and say ‘Let’s do it’. I’m sure the Miami Heat players said we want to do one. And the fact that they all got dressed up in Halloween costumes to do, it does look like a player driven thing. I think when it’s a player driven thing and you see them having so much fun, I mean a shirtless Lebron James ‘crunking’ in front of the camera, it’s like he’s having fun, like big kids! So that’s great for the team.
Kelly: And when you say going viral, I mean how many hits could the Hawthorn footy club expect, what would be a good result and how many hits for Miami Heat?
Sean: Well Miami Heat is already up to 2.3 million after 48 hours. And on top of that there are all the views of people watching it on Sports Centre and all the TV networks who are going to be playing it. So again from a brain recognition point of view, it’s massive numbers. The other part of it is if the TV networks pick up the Hawthorn guys or it becomes part of the TV before the game where they have a bit of a joke, again it doesn’t make everything so serious because footy is a pretty serious game and you can sort of make sure you can have a laugh about it. So that’s the other thing. If the players are willing to make a little bit of fun of themselves and have a bit of fun in the process, then it’s a good win for everybody.
Kelly: Sean, thanks for coming in, we’ll catch you next week!
Sean: No worries!