DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is joining the letters of the alphabet as a sponsor of Sesame Street.
The auto maker said Monday it is joining Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that owns the long-running children’s television show, in a year-long sponsorship deal. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Fiat Chrysler will join two other existing corporate sponsors.
Muppets from Sesame Street will be featured in 10 online advertising videos for the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, Fiat Chrysler said. That will be the first use of Sesame Street characters in a branded vehicle since Big Bird appeared in public service advertisements alongside a Ford minivan in the late 1990s, according to Sesame Workshop.
“This is the beginning. We’re talking to them about other ways they can expand” their sponsorship, Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop’s chief operating officer, said in an interview. He declined to provide details, but said that could include some form of community-based collaboration.
It comes as part of a push by the Italian-American auto maker to showcase its latest minivan in family-oriented media, including sponsorship of recent children’s programming events on Viacomm Inc.’s Nickelodeon network and Walt Disney Co.’s Radio Disney. Fiat Chrysler, which created the minivan category in the 1980s and began producing the Pacifica last year, is hoping to win back market share from rivals such as the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
The Sesame Street-themed Pacifica videos depict muppets such as Grover and Bert behind the wheel and Cookie Monster and Elmo in the back seat. They will be distributed on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the companies said.
FCA’s sponsorship role also will be noted on Public Broadcasting Service showings of Sesame Street, but not on episodes shown by Home Box Office Inc., Mr. Youngwood said.
In 2015, Sesame Workshop struck a five-year deal with HBO, giving the premium television unit of Time Warner Inc. exclusive rights to premier new episodes of Sesame Street. AT&T Inc. has agreed to buy Time Warner, a deal that is under review by government regulators.
Corporate, foundation and government support accounts for about one-third of Sesame Workshop’s revenue, which totaled $121.6 million in 2016.
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