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PNC Bank Renews Balloon Festival Sponsorship

February 25, 2013


READINGTON, NJ — The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank will once again introduce the magic of ballooning to school children and grown-ups alike as one of the nation’s largest banks extends its sponsorship of the 31st annual Festival, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America.

“Through PNC’s continued involvement, we are once again able to bring ‘Love at First Flight’ to communities throughout the state in the months leading up to the Festival,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “This is PNC’s eleventh year with us. They realize we are more than a three-day event in July. Working together, we are able to produce many wonderful outreach programs throughout the year.”

PNC’s support marks the second major sponsor announcement for the Festival following QuickChek’s return as title sponsor.  The annual three-day Festival, July 26-27-28, 2013 at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ, attracts upwards of 165,000 people and worldwide media coverage and has been named one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2013, the sixth time the Festival has received this honor.

By activating their involvement months in advance, PNC Bank enables several New Jersey communities to enjoy an up-close-and-personal experience in ballooning long before the annual Festival takes flight.

PNC Bank’s sponsorship will launch in March with the 10th annual PNC “American Patriot Essay Contest,” in which school children in grades 2-12 throughout the state are encouraged to write about “What the American Flag Means to Me.” The Grand Prize winner receives a visit by one of the Festival’s balloons to their school in June, VIP tickets and their very own hot air balloon ride during the Festival in July. Educators throughout the state are also recognized for their participation.

In the spring, PNC will team with the balloon festival to introduce the magic of ballooning to pre-school children as part of Grow Up Great, a $350 million, multi-year initiative that began in 2004 to support school readiness. These walk-through events in May and June provide hundreds of children ages 3 to 5 in multiple locations throughout the state the opportunity to step inside a cold-inflated balloon and experience thrills and visual attractions as they go outdoors to study the world around them.

On Flag Day in June, the Festival and PNC honor America by proudly inflating the PNC Bank American Flag balloon, the largest free-flying American flag in the world. The five-story tall flag-shaped balloon is a favorite at the Festival as it takes flight during six scheduled mass ascensions including a media-only preview.

PNC Bank offers many activities during the July Festival and also presents the Festival’s Sunday afternoon concert headliner, which has featured some of music’s biggest stars such as Meat Loaf, Bret Michaels, and Kenny Loggins.

“We are delighted to see our sponsorship of the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank take off again for 2013,” said Joseph Whall, PNC Senior Vice President & Director of Client and Community Relations.”

“PNC continues to demonstrate how a company can engage its sponsorship programs over a longer period of time and take advantage as excitement builds towards the Festival itself,” added Freeman.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

For additional information about Festival sponsorship and marketing opportunities as well as this year’s attractions, please call 973-882-5464 or visit online at www.balloonfestival.com.