On November 16, when toddlers and their parents tune in to the first episode in the 30th season of Sesame Street on PBS, the first and last seconds surrounding the program will likely catch their attention.
For the first time, CTW is offering 15-second sponsorship credits for Sesame Street on the public broadcaster that will run for a full season before each episode and repeat after the closing. In the past, PBS has solicited corporate underwriters for shows in its Ready To Learn block. Three sponsorship positions are available for this season.
‘Sesame Street is a cultural icon worldwide,’ says Nan Halperin, VP of marketing partnerships at CTW, who moved into this newly created position during the summer from VP of home video. These sponsorships provide an opportunity for kid-targeted companies to affiliate with the icon, tap into its values of learning and interaction among parents and children, and benefit from the heightened consumer awareness of the show surrounding its 30th anniversary, says Halperin.
The first sponsor on board is Discovery Zone, owner and operator of 202 children’s entertainment centers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The company makes a good fit with CTW, says Halperin, because, like Sesame Street, Discovery Zone brings children and parents together and promotes the same kind of educational values as CTW.
Each sponsorship message must be PBS-approved, and the public broadcaster dictates that messages must reflect a commitment to learning and education that is consistent with the goals of public television. Earlier this year, PBS renewed Sesame Street for four years, which gives CTW an opportunity to pursue sponsorships for future seasons as well.