Company News

How QuickChek Gets the Most Lift From Balloon Festival

Longest running sponsorship in U.S. continues for 23rd year

READINGTON, N.J. -- For the 23rd consecutive year, QuickChek is returning as title sponsor of the annual New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America.

QuickChek baloon festival (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

The Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based convenience store chain's sponsorship is the longest-running sponsorship of any festival in the United States, according to sponsorship analysis firm IEG.

This year's QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, an international attraction featuring twice-a-day mass ascensions of 100 balloons from around the world with a major headlining concert series, runs July 24-26, 2015, at Solberg Airport in Readington, N.J. Attracting upwards of 165,000 people, it has been named one of the top 100 events in North America six times.

A market leader in foodservice with its nationally recognized fresh coffee and fresh food program, QuickChek has maximized its involvement with the festival over the years to build its brand, introduce new menu items and showcase its customer service to a large audience.

The company has extended its sponsorship of this three-day event into a nine-month-long partnership. Marketing programs and in-store branded promotions with its vendors drive added foot traffic into company stores, which serve as the festival's exclusive retail ticket outlet and create savings opportunities for consumers on food, beverages and festival tickets, in the months leading up to the festival.

"The balloon festival is our No. 1 branding event," said QuickChek CEO Dean Durling, whose company operates 140 convenience stores throughout New Jersey and New York. "It has proven to be a great way to introduce consumers to our brand, either on site or in the months leading up to the festival in July. As the neighborhood shopping destination close to where our customers live and work, we enjoy partnering with our vendors to provide consumers with attractive offers in our stores, from exciting dining options to significant savings on festival tickets."

QuickChek's 2,700-square-foot, air conditioned replica store is a favorite stop at the event, where attendees can enjoy custom made oven-toasted subs, premium salads and wraps, breakfast sandwiches, hot and iced coffees and frozen drinks. The company's enormous hospitality tent provides families with the opportunity to relax together in between balloon ascensions and headlining concerts.

The festival also provides QuickChek and The Festival Group, both of which have been named among the most generous companies in New Jersey, opportunities to be further involved in their home state.

"This has been a true partnership from day one," said New Jersey Festival of Ballooning executive producer Howard Freeman. "We share the same goals, the same sense of family, of doing well by doing good. We're proud to produce the greatest event of its kind in the world while raising funds for, and the spirits of, our local communities."

The festival has raised more than $2.4 million for local charities, non-profit organizations and children's hospitals since The Festival Group and QuickChek came together in 1993. The event has an economic impact of $42.7 million on the state's travel and tourism and local economies and brings positive recognition to the state through the worldwide media attention it receives.

Tickets offering savings up to 43% go on sale at all QuickChek convenience stores on Memorial Day. Tickets and additional information, including sponsorship, crafter and vendor opportunities, are also now available at

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a CSP member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Drawing Ideas From Global Convenience

How travel can inspire the next big concept to keep a business profitable


7 Eye-Catching New Beverages at the NECSEMA 2023 Trade Show

Manufacturers reveal new flavors, varieties and enhancements

Company News

Expanding Equity: How Middle Management Can Move Up

Experts share what causes inequity in leadership roles


More from our partners