When Kim Sullivan signed up to participate in Got City Game, she had no idea that she and her teammate, Alex Hamberger, would at one point be required to serve food while bound together in plastic wrap.
With their arms and legs connected, Sullivan and Hamberger had to communicate effectively to walk and deliver apple slices that rolled precariously on trays.
The duo was unsuccessful, but the experience was memorable.
Photo special to the Tribune Chronicle
Kim Sullivan and Alex Hamberger of Team LiveCLEVELAND! are shown at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
"We still ended up laughing," Sullivan said.
The serving stint was just one of the challenges that Sullivan and Hamberger competed in during the first season of Got City Game, which took place in Cleveland. The show features college students and young professionals - who compete against each other on teams - participating in competitive challenges that feature local community areas within the city. Episodes of the challenges are then available on the show's Web site.
In the show's second season, three teams will be competing in Youngstown, Akron-Canton and Cleveland. Barbara Oney, executive producer, said there are tentative plans to start auditions in the summer and start filming in September. The show would go online in January.
To sponsor a team, or to suggest filming locations,
e-mail Barbara Oney, executive producer, at BSOney@gotcitygame.tv.
The first season featured three teams, LiveCLEVELAND!, Hiram College and Cuyahoga Community College. In addition to gaining points from the challenges, the teams also gained votes from viewers around the world. As the team with the most votes and points, LiveCLEVELAND!, the team of Sullivan and Hamberger, won a free loft apartment and tickets to sports, dining, and entertainment events in Cleveland.
Though Got City Game has a game-show structure, people involved with the project aim to do more than just entertain.
Got City Game is a creative tool for the northeast Ohio region, said Jim Cossler, director of the Youngstown Business Incubator, which is a fiscal agent for the project. The show can be one more way for YBI to attract young talent to the region, Cossler said.
"It targets two really critical demographic groups," Cossler said - college students and young professionals.
Jeff Kipp, executive director of LiveCLEVELAND!, a community development organization promoting the city, was attracted to Got City Game for similar reasons.
"There was a very natural connection," he said.
His interest led LiveCLEVELAND! to sponsor a team. Got City Game emphasizes the positive in the northeast Ohio region, he said.
"These are rust belt cities and communities. Obviously, we have challenges," Kipp said.
Rather than dwelling on these challenges, however, Got City Game aims to focus on the region's strengths.
Got City Game features locations that spotlight neighborhoods and communities, said director Tyler Don.
"Our goal is to just kind of shine a light on what's positive," Don said.
Don, who lives in Cleveland himself, said he even discovered interesting places that were in his own backyard.
Hamberger, who moved to Cleveland from Buffalo, N.Y., to attend college at Case Western University, also had a chance to see places in Cleveland that he was unaware of.
In one challenge, the teams competed at Ante Up Audio, a recording studio in Cleveland. Along with the other two teams, Hamberger and Sullivan had to correctly identify songs from This Is a Shakedown!, a local band. In a bonus challenge, they got to sing a a song with the band.
"I had no idea that Cleveland had any kind of recording studio and definitely not one as cool as that," Hamberger said.
Though Hamberger said he wasn't a fan of the more physically demanding activities, such as tossing footballs or riding a mechanical bull, he described the experience as "just pure fun."
"It's just a really great opportunity to get to know the city that you live in," Hamberger said.