Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Balloon Fiesta Media Relations

With growing competition from ballooning events world-wide, The Garrity Group helped ensure this event retained it’s splendor to media and guests.


The Garrity Group first started its media relations (traditional and digital) work with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Balloon Fiesta) in 1997. Leveraging media relations, the firm has helped the Balloon Fiesta to set and defend three world records in the Guinness Book of World Records.


The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (AIBF) is an annual nine-day event, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that is recognized as the world’s premier ballooning event. The Garrity Group is engaged by the event to handle all media relations (the Balloon Fiesta was one of the firm’s first clients when The Garrity Group opened its doors in 1997). With growing competition from ballooning events world-wide, our goal was to make Balloon Fiesta “new” again to media and guests.


To reach more guests and potential visitors, our team developed an integrated media relations approach to target traditional and digital outlets. Creative tactics included highly personalized individual media pitches to top national publications, and a renewed focus on the visual splendor of Balloon Fiesta. Our targeted pitching focused on securing stories in publications that hadn’t covered Balloon Fiesta in many years, if at all.


Through individualized media pitches, The Garrity Group secured more than 200 new media hits including: NBC Rock Center, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian Magazine, New York Post, CBS News, and the Travel Channel. The Weather Channel provided a day of dedicated coverage live from Balloon Fiesta. Digital efforts generated more than 560 online stories about Balloon Fiesta on sites like National Geographic, CondeNast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Yahoo News.

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