Specializing in the unique industry related to Christmas and the specialized tourism industry.
Santa Claus Productions was established in 1989 by Phillip L. Wenz after working four years as a promotional specialist for Instant Photo Corporation of America in Chicago. (Wenz is mostly known for his portrayal of Santa Claus with Santa’s Village theme park in Dundee, Illinois. Note: Santa Claus Productions is a contracted company for Santa’s Village.) Part of the company’s broad base is in the tourism and special events field with its public relations skills and working knowledge of the unique Christmas industry.
Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising Overview - Project Event Management: Administration of labor, event costs and profit centers of special events and promotions. Very active in local media marketing effort as well as the national advertising campaign. Generate daily reports, event cost summaries and timeline analysis. Recruitment and development of corporate sponsorship involvement, scheduling of outside vendors and the implementation of community outreach programs. Clients have included: Houston Downtown District, Ward and Ames Entertainment of Houston, Santa’s Village Theme Park, Dundee, Illinois, Brach’s Candy of Chicago, and numerous civic and private organizations.
Outside Contractor/Project Coordination - Designed and application of policies, procedures and by-laws of special events. Structure of the governing body/Board of Directors for future efforts. Helped in planning, marketing and management of the event. Recruitment of the volunteer base to assist in event production. Design the creative promotional material and planned event timeline. Development and management sponsorship packages. Clients have included: The Chicago Christmas Parade Association, The Bank United Thanksgiving Day Parade in Houston, SMC Photo Promotions, Deerfield, Illinois, and numerous Chambers of Commerce.
Public Relations/Community Affairs Management - Administration of media strategies based on clients target market. Designed creative and copy for campaigns. Work with radio, television and print media buys. Consulting work with outside clients that included: Brach’s Holiday Parade, The Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events, The City of Houston, The Bank United Thanksgiving Day Parade and WGN-TV. Coordinated public relation efforts with the ADI’s. Created status reports for clients, as well as tracking reports for cross promotions and bounce-back coupons. Generated billing and monthly profit and loss reports. Create and market special event promotions to major shopping centers. Provide traffic building programs and effective media relations to build event awareness and profitability. Interacted on client's behalf with outside labor acting as a liaison.
Consultant - Santa’s Candy Castle/St. Nicholas Development, LLC: Research and prepared historical documentation for the historic restoration of the nation’s first themed attraction, Santa’s Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Indiana. Advised on attraction development, retail planning and potential sponsorships.
Consultant - Celebrate Santa Convention: Acted as Executive Producer of the recent gathering of Santa from around the world that was held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in March 2009. Planned and produced the opening and closings scripts, power points and videos, blocked the Holly and Shamrock parade, appeared as the on air host for the parade’s television broadcast.
Consultant - Grand Bear Lodge Resort: Working on the planning and development of the expanding projects of the 90 million dollar resort located in Utica, Illinois.
Consultant - Santa and Co., LLC: Advised on the manufacturing of professional styled Santa Claus suits and equipment. Provided historical information and documentation of the history of Santa Claus suits and related props and equipment.
Consultant - The Weber Group: Provided historical research and information on the legendary Santa Jim Yellig for the Santa Claus Museum exhibit in Santa Claus, Indiana.
Consultant – Lockport, New York’s Christmas Cottage: Advised on the design, decorations, and promotional aspects of a local Santa Claus House and Christmas Festival. Acts as counsel and mentor for the local Santa Claus.
Producer – Charles W. Howard Day: A tribute day for the legendary Santa Claus, Charles W. Howard from Albion, New York. Event included a ceremony, museum, tours of Howard’s former properties, and special tributes to Howard family and friends. The event was attended by dozens of professional Santas and over 1,000 local people from Orleans County, New York.
National Special Projects Consultant and Director - Santa America: A national volunteer service organization that brings the highest quality Santas together across America to focus on our special mission: an unhurried visit by a loving, committed, trained, back-grounded Santa to families facing physical and emotional crisis. The organization is broken down into 6 segments; Hospice and Hospital Visits, Autism Support, Military Support, Disaster Relief for Children, Public Health, and Information Services.
Consultant/Contributor – “SANTA'S VILLAGE - GONE WILD!” By Christopher Dearman with Forward by Phillip L. Wenz. A revealing look at some of the fun, hilarious and outrageous stories that took place during the nearly fifty years Santa's Village in Dundee, Illinois was open. Summers spent working at Santa's Village was a rite of passage for thousands of high school kids growing up in the Chicago suburbs. It was to teach responsibility and life lessons, while bridging the gap from adolescence to adulthood in a safe environment. The book is a window into the past to see some of the coming of age stories that could only happened if you were one of the lucky ones to work at Santa's summertime home.
Producer - Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop: An annual event, named after the legendary Santa, that draws hundreds of Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and helper from around the world to Santa Claus, Indiana each April. The Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop is open to all who wish to participate no matter what your association is with any Santa group or organization. Presented as an interactive forum instead of a school, the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop is designed to complement other existing Santa seminars, schools, and gatherings. The Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop is presented by Midwest Santa and is produced free of charge to the Santa Claus Community by the Santa Claus Oath Foundation. Just pay for personal lodging...if needed, food, and travel expenses.
Consultant/Contributor - St. Nicholas Institute: An educational seminar held in Detroit, Michigan that teaches students the history, legends, and how to accurately portray Nicholas, the 4th century Bishop of Myra, who is the basis of the Santa Claus Legend. Classes are held at Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic Church and are under the guidance of Fr. Joseph Marquis.
Consultant/Contributor – “They Wore the Red Suit” TV Documentary. Provided historical images, film, background information, locations, and Santas for interviews for an in-depth look at the vocation and career of being Santa Claus. The documentary is produced by Larry Peter of Power Plant Productions for PBS-TV and many international film festivals.
Public and Community Relations/Contributor – “Nicholas of Myra: The Story of St. Nicholas” Movie. Aligned and works with the majority of the global St. Nicholas and Santa Claus groups to build a vital line of communication to this world -wide market to providing updates and information to the global fan-base of the movie. Acting as a liaison with media to arrange information and interview with the film’s creator and director Gerald Hartke.