Rotorua Boys' High School first XV fans will have more access to the team than ever when news sports app Sideline App launches this weekend.
The app aims allow parents, friends and family to watch New Zealand-based grassroots sports games live, anywhere in the world.
SidelineApp will launch a pilot today as part of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Super 8 rugby competition.
Creator Luke Thompson said SidelineApp was all about boosting support for grassroots sports in New Zealand by empowering schools to take ownership of their content to ensure fans never miss a game.
"In the same way Uber mobilises people to become taxi drivers, SidelineApp wants to turn everyday sports fans into live sports broadcasters.
"The app offers a controlled and safe environment for schools to foster team spirit off the field by providing online notice boards, social feeds and other 'always on' channels through which players and coaches can communicate," Thompson said.
The app will offer a live streaming service, live-scoring technology and a coaching and media channel.
For a small fee, supporters wanting to view secondary sports games online can pay for a 'ticket' which gives them access to a live stream of their chosen match, as well as on-demand access for the next seven days.
Twenty per cent of every ticket purchased is donated back to the schools to reinvest in sport.
Rotorua Boys' High School co-director of rugby and first XV coach Ngarimu Simpkins said the app provided a "great opportunity" for the school's supporters.
"Firstly, family and friends, ex-students and players and the wider community. This app allows people that can't be at the game to view on there phone or PC. It's a great chance for overseas supporters to watch the progress of the team. Raukura rugby has a proud history with many players playing professional rugby. This exciting new platform allows everyone to watch the team they once played for.
"Each time the boys run out on the field there are opportunities. Having each game live streamed will expose our players to a wider audience. This means more eyes on our team and individual performance. More coaches and selectors will be able to analyse our players on a regular basis which we hope will help promote our players for higher honours," Simpkins said.
The Kiwi-designed app has piqued the interest of digital services company Spark.
Spark head of new things Philip Ivanier said the organisation was attracted to two aspects of SidelineApp's proposition.
"Every All Black or Black Fern has to start somewhere, and like all Kiwis, grassroots sport is close to our hearts. We love the way Sidelineapp opens up the potential for a much bigger audience watching school and junior sports games anytime and anywhere.
"But it's also bigger than that, because SidelineApp has created a content platform that can be used for a range of other grassroots community-based events. As an entertainment proposition it is truly impressive," Ivanier said.
The technology driving the app has been tested in soft launches at both CrossFit competitions and kick boxing pay-per-view events, including King in the Ring and Battle of the Fittest.
The SidelineApp pilot is available to all schools in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Super 8 competition and there are an additional eight places for any Auckland secondary school that competes in a national or regional tournament.
Go to www.sidelineapp.co.nz to register interest. The app is now available.