GLENS FALLS -- City officials aren't sure how many, if any, business executives looking to expand or relocate technology or manufacturing companies are college basketball fans.
But if any - from anywhere around the world - happen to be watching the CBS College Sports broadcast from the Glens Falls Civic Center of the Hometown Classic basketball game between Brigham Young University and University of Vermont on Wednesday evening, they'll see a commercial pitching the quality of life in the Glens Falls region.
As part of broadcasting rights deal that city officials negotiated, the network is broadcasting three 30-second commercials promoting Glens Falls and the surrounding area.
This week's homecoming of BYU player Jimmer Fredette, a Glens Falls high school graduate, is about basketball, for sure.
It's also a chance for the city to hitch its image onto the coattails of a native son that is expected to play in the National Basketball Association next season.
"In this particular situation, the Glens Falls story is sort of joined at the hip with Jimmer. But that's the whole idea of bringing him here," said Sean Magee, a principal in Trampoline Design, a marketing firm in Glens Falls.
The "Jimmer" brand is built around a talented, affirmative, well-spoken young rising star who hasn't lost touch with his roots in the city that Look magazine dubbed "Hometown USA" in the 1940s.
"It's the classic story of a hometown boy made good," Magee said.
City officials want the story of the boy's hometown to be interwoven with the narrative of rising basketball star.
The commercial that will air during the CBS College Sports broadcast is a scaled down version of a promotional video that Pepe Productions of Glens Falls prepared for the city's "GF to GF" campaign.
The first GF stands for GlobalFoundries, the computer chip manufacturer building a factory in Malta, and the second GF stands for Glens Falls.
The campaign is aimed at recruiting GlobalFoundries-related businesses for Glens Falls, as well as promoting Glens Falls to people looking to buy homes in the region.
The commercial that will air on Wednesday evening contains footage of downtown Glens Falls, Glens Falls high school, Adirondack Community College and regional recreational and cultural attractions.
It includes footage from Great Escape, Adirondack Balloon Festival, the Saratoga Race Course and 18th-century military re-enactments at Lake George and Ticonderoga, concluding with the tag line: "Glens Falls, New York - No Better Region."
The goal is to promote the Glens Falls region, not just the city per se, said city Economic/Community Development Director Edward Bartholomew.
City officials said they are excited that David Strader, a 1973 Glens Falls High School graduate, will be the play-by-play announcer for the CBS College Sports broadcast.
Strader said that he'll be emphasizing the city's history as a high school hoops mecca.
"Well, one of the things I've talked about with (the producer of the game) is I gave him the background about the Civic Center being the host of the New York State High School Basketball Tournament since the early 1980s," Strader said. "I sent him a list of players who played on that court or in that building and it's pretty impressive."
City officials have prepared a press kit about Glens Falls and its attributes to distribute to reporters who will cover the game.
Crews with the BYU and UVM radio stations will be in town covering the game, as well as several Albany area televisions stations and many newspapers, Bartholomew said.
Opportunities for photo opps are all around.
The city hung about 10 banners, with the slogan "Hoops it Up - Glens Falls has got the game," around the city on Friday, including one banner on the street where Fredette's parents live.
About 45 reporters had requested media credentials as of Thursday afternoon, said David Aiello, the Civic Center marketing director.
There also will be exposure to reporters not in Glens Falls.
Jimmer Fredette will take part in BYU's weekly conference call with media on Monday morning, before the team leaves Utah for its flight to Albany International Airport, according to a city press release.
The game also is great exposure for the Civic Center, said John Page, chief operating officer of Global Spectrum, the company that manages the city-owned arena.
"It just leads to people thinking about that arena from around the country," he said.
It is believed to be the first national television broadcast from the arena in nearly three decades, Bartholomew said.
The broadcast of a heavyweight boxing match shortly after the arena opened in 1979 turned out to be quite short after Mike Tyson knocked out Marvis Frazier about 30 seconds into the first round.
Also in the arena's early years, the nationally televised announcement that musical entertainer Barbara Mandrell had won a People's Choice Award was made during her concert at the Civic Center.
Business leaders said the Hometown Classic is an opportunity to build optimism in the community.
"And to have that type of excitement generated because of Jimmer coming and playing here and the amount of activity that will kind of spin off from that over the next couple of days and then continue on through the holiday season is just exciting to see," said Peter Aust, incoming president and CEO of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Karen Drozdyk, director of sales at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls, said the enthusiasm was apparent when she met with staff on Thursday to brief them on details of hosting the BYU and UVM teams and CBS College Sports crew.
"They didn't need for me to tell them. They knew that it was such as big deal and that everyone is just so proud of him being a native," she said.
The BYU team is staying three nights at the hotel and the UVM team one night.
Obviously there's a revenue bump from the off-season business, but that's not the only important aspect, Drozdyk said.
"As far as the economic impact, certainly we appreciate the business. But really it's a civic pride thing more than anything with us," she said.
Staff writer Tim McManus contributed to this report.