Much like the popular show "The Amazing Race", the "Fireball Run," based at Universal Studios in Florida, is a game that takes teams to different cities to perform tasks. But instead of being a TV show, the entire run is shown live on the internet and then turned into a movie. As our Brian Dwyer reports, the 2012 Fireball Run will stop in Watertown and highlight some of the area's features for the world to see.
WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- Forty teams, eight cities, eighteen days.
For five years, the Fireball Run has seen hundreds of people drive around the country competing in what is essentially a huge scavenger hunt. Teams visit landmarks and other unique parts of a city and perform tasks for points.
The whole run is broadcast on the internet live and later turned into a motion picture.
"We highlight the best of a community and incorporate it into the story line. We're actually teaching people everything from geography to history, a little bit of math and some American road flare," Fireball Run Executive Producer J "JJ" Sanchez said.
The 2012 Fireball run will be making a stop in Watertown. Sanchez is in the area this week visiting different places and seeing what Watertown has to offer. He seemed most excited about Watertown being home to Car Freshner's Little Trees.
"That's something that everyone of us has had in our car at one point in time or another, but you may not know where it's from," He said. "That's what kind of bonds the audience. They can identify with something and then we can learn about the War of 1812 and we learn about all these other great things in the community that we're discovering right now."
And because the contestants of the run are all either prominate business leaders or celebrities, Watertown knows this is a chance to shine on the national stage.
"We want to make an impact on the people who come here who are influential and can make change across the United States," Lynn Pietroski of the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce said. "If we show them that this is a great place to be, they can return as many times as they can and we'd welcome them."
Sanchez says business leaders from across the country coming together is where a major economic benefit can happen for a host community. Business men talk business.
"When those decisions come up. When those economic opportunities become available, they now remember your community for something more than just what it may seem on the surface," Sanchez said. "It means more to them.
Now both the production crew and the chamber will have a lot of work to do to figure out where exactly they want to go and what the teams will do when they get there. That'll happen in late September.
During the run, each team represents a missing child from their area. They pass out tens of thousands of flyers across the country. The run has played a part in bringing home 38 children.