Football’s Festive Featurettes: Rangers wishing for Ibrox return at Christmas

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.

Following in the footsteps of its Scottish rivals, Rangers released it’s very own Christmas advertisement last month. ‘Follow Your Dreams’ is an ode to supporters of the Scottish Premiership giants across the globe, connecting fans who are unable to attend games during the pandemic.

The video opens with drone footage of the iconic Ibrox Stadium, with a voiceover narrating the scene.

“This is the place of dreams. The Rangers we love, we feel afar, but on Christmas night, the door is ajar,” says Rangers commentator Derek Johnstone.

The camera follows the legendary figure of Santa Claus, as he pays a visit to two young Rangers supporters. He opens a small gift box, inside which is a Christmas list belonging to adolescent fans: ‘Score a goal at Ibrox; watch Rangers play; Ibrox filled with fans’.

The video flashes back to the brother and sister sitting under a Christmas tree in their own home which decked out in Rangers baubles and tinsel. The pair are opening an array of Rangers-branded gifts, when the young girl happens upon a snow globe with an image of Ibrox inside.

The next thing the young fans know, they’ve been teleported to the Light Blues’ home and gone from wearing their pyjamas to being kitted out in the blue and white of Rangers.

They walk hand-in-hand down the players’ tunnel to the hallowed turf, where another Rangers legend, John Greig, is waiting for them. He encourages them to step onto the pitch for a kickabout with some of their Old Firm heroes, both male and female, with the likes of Ianis Hagi, Alfredo Morelos, Borna Barišić and Zoe Ness joining the two excited fans on the football field.

With the ball at her feet, the young female fan takes aim and jumps up and down with glee when the net ripples, ticking her final Christmas wish off the list.

“All we want for Christmas is to have you back in here with us but until then, we wish Rangers fans across the world a very merry Christmas and a successful 2021,” Johnstone concludes with overlay footage of a packed-out Ibrox Stadium and fans chanting and cheering their team on.

With the absence of supporters in sporting venues amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Rangers’ 2020 Christmas marketing campaign unites Gers fans around the world during these somewhat isolated times.

“Despite the turbulent time all of society is going through, the resilience and loyalty of the Rangers support continues to be unwavering,” the club’s Managing Director, Stewart Robertson said in a statement. “We are all dreaming of coming together again soon and Ibrox will come alive once more with our world-famous supporters back in the stadium.’’

“This Christmas will be different to all the others we have had before, COVID-19 continues to impact us all but we want to remind the Rangers support that we are stronger than ever and continue to push forward with them in mind across all functions of the club.”

The video, which was shared on the club’s official YouTube page, received high praise from fans, with one supporter even commenting that the advertisement brought a tier to his eye.