Project Info: Sideline Access / Mascot Media
Sideline Access was a company that I co-founded in 2014 with Tim Lee as part of VentureTech, LLC. Our goal was to bring college quality athletic apps to high schools, at no cost to the schools. We created and launched our first apps with 45 days.
I did all of the programming for the first 20 months, until we were acquired by Five Star Sports and the companies merged into Mascot Media.
Knowing that the apps needed to not only be cross-platform, but to look the same on both platforms, I made the decision to build the apps with Unity 3D. It's not as uncommon to see non-game apps built with Unity 3D as you might think. That decision and codebase (re-written several times, I might point out) continued to serve the company well for most of the next 5 years, and was still in place when I left the company that acquired us to go back to freelance in January 2019.
The apps featured push notifications, live streaming audio and video feeds, final score alerts and a content management system for the schools that allowed them to create their own news articles, update their own schedules and push content as desired. The backend was a java-based CMS built on Vaadin, with PHP/MySQL feeding JSON to the apps.
Any middle school, junior high or high school in America that wanted to have a presence in our national app were given the tools to do so, and many schools had custom apps for their own app store presence. This was all done through local supporters and sponsors for individual schools, and not only didn't cost the schools anything, we gave some of the ad revenue back to them, as well as opened up opportunities for them to sell ads themselves (and keep all the money) in various places throughout the app.
At the height, we had hundreds of schools across the country in our national app and dozens of individual apps for schools, all running primarily on code that I wrote, maintained and trained others on.
I list the 'original' team in the sidebar, because after we were acquired in 2016 and became part of Mascot Media, more programmers and graphic designers were added to the project, and the backend was moved from PHP/MySQL to an Azure / .NET framework. I assisted in doing that and continued to be the lead mobile developer on the apps until I left in January 2019. As of this writing, most of the apps are still active and live in the app store.
- Unity 3D App
- Original programming by Greg Dunn (me)
- Original backend programming by Vic Ricker and Greg Dunn (me)
- Original App UI by Jennifer Hart