STATEWIDE – Did you know that less than 5% of all professional Santas in the U.S. identify as people of color, while almost half of children under the age of 15 in the US identify as non-white?
To make Santa more representative of modern culture, Old Navy launched Santa BOOTcamp, a virtual training course for anyone wanting to play Santa this year from all backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultural heritages and invites any person who wants to play the role of Santa this year.
Starting today, anyone can visit http://www.oldnavysantabootcamp.com/ to register for the free program, which will take place on Friday, Nov. 19
Veteran Santa Timothy Connaghan, founder of School4Santas and owner of one of the largest Santa booking agencies in the US, has helped develop the immersive, 30-minute course.
Trainees will learn the fundamentals of becoming Santa, including how to respond to kids’ frequently asked Santa questions, key phrases in both sign language and Spanish, and more–all from Connaghan and three fellow professional Santas.
Old Navy will also be casting a range of diverse Santa BOOTcamp graduates to appear in its three flagship stores for socially distant photo moments.
The online program was inspired by Old Navy’s famous Jingle Jammies, specifically the skin-tone Santa prints, which launched in 2020.
For 2021, Old Navy is adding inclusive patterns and color combinations like Menorah prints and rainbow stripes.