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How to Throw a Sports-Themed Party

Published: May 14, 2024

No matter what team, sport, age or score, sports have a way of bringing people together. And when people come together to celebrate, they come hungry! We’ve gone through our playbook of favorite decorating and snack-making moves to turn up any sports party. Whether you’re tailgating, watching the big game, or hosting a kid’s birthday party, you’ll be sure to win everyone over.

tray of freshly made hersheys chocolate touchdown brownie cups

Get Your Game On With These Sports Party Ideas

Whether you're a sports enthusiast looking for fun experiences to share with friends or celebrating someone special with a sports-themed birthday party, we have ideas for both. So, get ready to gear up because it's time to get your game on and throw an unforgettable sports theme party!

fresh batch of basketball themed cupcakes topped with reeses peanut butter cups

Choosing Your Theme

How do you throw a themed party? When planning, it's essential to consider what your guests or the guest of honor enjoy. Think about their favorite sports and whether they're football fans, basketball enthusiasts or soccer lovers—really, any sports they're into. And here's an even better idea: why not create a theme that centers around their favorite team? It'll make the party more enjoyable and exciting for everyone involved.

How about organizing a tailgating party, gathering friends for a game—watching night or celebrating your kid's sports team victories? Don't even stop at sports. You could host a party to watch a thrilling car race, golf tournament, Olympics event or even a major horse race. And if you want to get more creative, plan an event like a sports trivia night, a sports movie marathon or a sports jersey party. With so many possibilities, the fun never ends!

What You'll Need

First, make sure you send out your sports-themed party invitations to set the stage. Suggest what to wear to a sports theme party so your guests can participate in the theme fun.

Next, pull out all the stops with sports theme decorations. Hang eye-catching banners, colorful balloons and sports jerseys to bring the spirit of the event to life. Set up posters featuring well-known athletes to add an extra touch of excitement. Step up to the plate and find plates, cups and napkins matching the theme's colors, ensuring your party decorations coordinate perfectly.

Don't forget to choose sports-related props like balls, helmets or trophies relevant to your sports theme idea. And plan ways to make your party active with games and activities like a relay race, obstacle course, sports trivia or sports-themed movie night. Make your party a clear winner by paying attention to every detail!

Wear Team Colors

One easy way to have a sports party feel more themed is to rep your team colors. Whether it’s your official pro team or your kids’ softball league, dress up in the perfect shades to show off your pride. If you're hosting a game-watching party, why not invite people to wear either team’s colors? It'll make for some friendly rivalry. While you’re at it, grab a bag of HERSHEY’S KISSES in team colors to dress up your candy dish, too!

Raise the Bar with These Sports-Themed Party Recipes

Partygoers will come hungry, so plan a menu that's ready to play ball!

bowl of party snack mix

Easy and Crowd-Pleasing Meal Ideas

Score big with your guests and save time by whipping up delicious meals which are ready to go on the day of your party. Consider some mouthwatering options that can be cooked and kept warm in a slow cooker. You can go for succulent chicken, flavorful beef or tender pork BBQ that can be served as sliders or sandwiches. Other great meals include zesty chili, juicy meatballs, classic sloppy joes, creamy macaroni and cheese or some ooey-gooey hot dips or cheesy nachos. Additionally, you can prepare trays of tantalizing wings, cheesy pizza bites, crispy potato skins or mini hot dog bites, or serve up cheese and crackers, fresh veggies and dip—perfect quick appetizers to get your guests started as they begin to arrive.

The MVPs of Sports-Themed Snacks

No matter the party theme, snacks are always the MVPs of the party. It would be a rookie mistake to exclude our Game-Day Party Snack Mix, an easy, salty-sweet, crunchy snack combo that takes only five minutes to make.

bowls of reeses party mix
plate of smores dipper treats

For the partygoers that seek a sweet, finger-friendly, S’mores-like snack, you’ll want to serve up our HERSHEY’S S’mores Dipper Treats. Personalize your treats with team-colored sprinkles, crushed-up cookies, pretzels and more.

Fill up some goodie bags filled with our crunchy Drizzled Party Popcorn, a sweet chocolate and salty peanut butter-flavored snack, ideal for portable snacking and take-home treats. Tie each bag with a ribbon or string in your team’s or theme’s colors.

bowl of chocolate drizzled popcorn

The Champions of Cake Recipes

basketball court cake

Bring the game to life with this Hershey Basketball Court Cake. This classic chocolate cake is as tasty as it is eye-catching as a slam dunk centerpiece for your basketball-themed party. It may look impressive, but it’s beginner-friendly and easy to make. You can even customize the frosting colors to personalize the court.

football field cake

Whether you’re throwing a football party or surprising the football fanatic in your life on their birthday, this extra-special cake is ready to impress. Follow the step-by-step HERSHEY’S Gridiron Cake recipe to create the ultimate touchdown for your tastebuds. From endzone to endzone, it’s packed full of HERSHEY’S, REESE’S, ROLO® Creamy Caramels and TWIZZLERS Candy—truly an over-the-top treat for your party guests.

reeses stuffed football cookies

Dessert Recipes That raise the Bar

Who could resist these fan-favorite, delicious REESE’S Stuffed Football Cookies? These soft and chewy dark chocolate cocoa cookies wrap around REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup Minis to form these fun football-shaped treats. They may look tricky to make, but they’re easy enough for a beginner baker.

basketball themed reeses cupcake toppers

Celebrating your local team’s victory on the court? These All-Star Team Cupcakes turn REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups into sweet cupcake toppers that make the perfect treat for every player! With a dribble of creativity, you can personalize these fun and delicious cupcakes with colored icing to match your team’s colors.

Sports Party Activities Everyone Can Play

What’s a sports party without a bit of sport? If you don’t have a baseball field or basketball court close by, or are looking for some simple games that everyone can play, here are some easy and fun sports-themed party games that don’t require a lot of practice


It’s our take on the egg relay race without the messy yolk risk. You’ll need a spoon and a bag of REESE'S PIECES Candies. Sprinkle the same amount of candy into each team’s spoon and let the races begin! Each member must race to the finish line, turn around and pass the spoon to the next teammate without spilling any REESE’S PIECES Candies. (Or eating them!)

Sports Trivia

Put those devoted fans to the test by creating a fun sports trivia game! You can assign teams or let everyone play as a free agent. If you're playing with little ones, you can focus on discussing different positions and terms from their favorite sports. You could also print pictures of beloved sports figures and see who can name them first!

Sports Movie Night

There are plenty of action-packed, family-friendly movies centered around sports. Select a few of your personal favorites and have a playlist prepared to keep your guests entertained while enjoying some delicious snacks and desserts. Want to hit it out of the park? Make up bingo cards filled with quotes or phrases from the movies. Use REESE’S Miniatures Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups or HERSHEY KISSES Milk Chocolate Candy as bingo chips whenever the phrases are spoken in the movies. If the weather isn’t great for outdoor activities, this is an excellent indoor sports-themed party idea for adults and kids!

Make Everyone Feel Like a Winner

Send everyone home a champ with goodie bags of the Drizzled Party Popcorn or golden-wrapped ROLO® Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy. Everyone will feel like they won first place!

Great party, coach! We’re not keeping score or anything, but if we were, your sports-themed, party-prepping would be unbeatable.