Football’s Festive Featurettes: A Celtic Christmas carol

The quintessential Christmas advertisement has become as much a part of the festive ritual as a tree decorated in lights or a wreath hanging on the front door.

Each year without fail, the British public wait with baited breath for the John Lewis commercial to make its debut and more recently, football and other sporting clubs have hopped on the bandwagon, producing their own festive featurettes.

Insider Sport is looking back at past Christmas campaigns produced by football clubs to market the clubs’ merchandise stores in the run up to the big day.

Celtic FC has become renowned for pulling out all the stops at Christmastime. Each year, the Scottish Premiership side creates a visual spectacle to advertise their club shop but in 2019, the team took a lighter-hearted approach to the project.

Last year, the Scottish giants produced their own rendition of the Christmas carol ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’, amending the lyrics to fit the Hoops.

In the ‘Star of Lisbon’ Christmas campaign-turned-music video, the squad is preparing for a Christmas concert.

First-team players, including skipper Scott Brown, Leigh Griffiths, James Forrest, Olivier Eduoard, Fraser Foster and Christopher Jullien all appear in the campaign. Bertie Auld, a member of the famous Lisbon Lions squad, also makes a cameo in the beginning of the advertisement, reminiscing about the 1967 European Cup Final win.

The key is to pay close attention to detail throughout. Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie dress up as angels for their part in the nativity, whilst Jonny Hayes and Scott Sinclair are chastised by coach Damien Duff for fooling around with the costumes in the dressing room behind the scenes.

The Three Kings (or three Celtic players) appear carrying three pieces of silverware – the Scottish League trophy, the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup – symbolic of the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Luckily, it all comes together in the end and manager Neil Lennon conducts the contingent as they all join in for a final chorus of Star of Lisbon, attired in Celtic Christmas jumpers and onesies, in front of a packed-out choir hall.

The video has almost hit 250,000 views on the club’s official YouTube channel alone and what’s more is the proceeds raised by the anthem and the video, which went on to be released as a charity single, were put towards the Celtic FC Foundation and its Christmas Appeal.

The song was re-recorded as ‘Star of Glasgow’s Green and White’ with Celtic-based folk and rock band Johnny and The Faithful on vocals, and it even made Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist in the third week of December.

The anthem was also played over the sound system before festive fixtures at Celtic Park in the run up to Christmas.

From confectionary, in the form of a Celtic-branded Toblerone, to mini Celtic table football, the campaign suggests there’s something for everyone at the Celtic megastore for Christmas, and what better way to advertise it than through the medium of music?