A company’s out-of-the-box pivot during the pandemic

Adding corporate advertising opportunities to famous hot air balloon rides

It’s no secret that the global pandemic forced many Colorado businesses to adapt and even pivot.

Rainbow Ryders, a hot air balloon company that once operated over 300 flights per day with the local tourism fueling its balloon business, is one of those businesses.


During pre-pandemic days, about 80% of Rainbow Ryders’ customers were tourists from corporate groups and leisure travel. During this COVID-19 era, the company reevaluated its operations and enhanced the highest level of safety and sanitation to continue offering balloon rides as a socially-distant activity.

Scott Appelman 2

Founder and CEO Scott Appelman found a way to keep moving forward during these uncertain times. While providing safe, socially distanced hot air balloon rides, the company now offers corporate hot air balloon advertising. Rainbow Ryders has partnered with large companies such as General Mills, Phillips 66 and Dos Equis to creatively advertise their brands on hot air balloons.


This form of brand marketing and out-of-the-box publicity stunts started at his balloon festivals and go beyond TV, radio, digital and print advertising. Rainbow Ryders creates flying billboards for its partners that bring brand messages right to people’s homes, during a time where most of our time is spent.

Categories: Companies, Company Perspectives, COVID-19