State paid $1.5M to show logo during Virgin Galactic flight

New Mexico

This screenshot from the Virgin Galactic Unity 22 Spaceflight Livestream shows New Mexico’s logo at the top. The spaceship also has a sun symbol of the Zia people, which is part of New Mexico’s state flag.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico spent $1.5 million to advertise the state during the Virgin Galactic space launch Sunday.

The state paid the money to display New Mexico’s logo on video of the flight, KOB-TV reported.

The flight saw Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson briefly rocket into space aboard the company’s winged space plane for the first time.

A third of the money came from a $500,000 special appropriation by the New Mexico Legislature to market and promote the state during the flight and the rest came from the Tourism Department’s budget, department spokesman Cody Johnson said..

“We actually have a conservative estimate of around $3.5 million in media value just from the event itself and again that’s a pretty conservative estimate, because we’ve seen so much coverage and viewership of the live stream, that it’s going to grow over the coming days and weeks,” Johnson said earlier this week.

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