As the leading gaming company in Greece and sponsor of the Athens Classic Marathon, OPAP launched an app to encourage engagement around the marathon and to raise funds for two children’s hospitals. Hoping to increase the number of app downloads, decrease the cost per install and increase engagement compared to the app’s performance in previous years, OPAP decided to use Universal App Campaigns for its 2016 marathon app promotion campaign.

OPAP is the leading gaming company in Greece. Founded in 1958, OPAP was listed in the Athens Exchange in 2001 and is the exclusive licensed operator of all of the country’s numerical lotteries, sports betting, horse racing and virtual terminal lottery games.

OPAP is also renowned for its focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Concentrating on initiatives that improve people’s living conditions and welfare at a time when social needs in Greece are more intense than ever, OPAP is committed to responsible growth and social support. In this vein, it is driving a major renovation of the two largest children’s hospitals in Greece.

OPAP launched a mobile app as the main vehicle for its CSR activation around the Athens Classic Marathon, which the company sponsors. The idea behind the app is for the user to download and engage with it to “contribute” points, which OPAP then converts into funds for renovating the two pediatric hospitals. Users can accumulate points by downloading the app, forming teams, participating in quizzes and games, participating in a running challenge, checking in on the day of the marathon, sharing on social media and inviting friends to download the app.

To promote our marathon app we used Universal App Campaigns since this allowed us to gather installs in a short period of time, delivered great cost per install and allowed us to meet our campaign goals.

Panos Bassios, Head of Digital Services, OPAP S.A.

In advance of the 2016 marathon, OPAP’s goals were to increase the number of app downloads, decrease the cost per install (CPI) and increase in-app engagement over the app’s performance in previous years. OPAP chose to use Universal App Campaigns (UAC) to tackle these aims. UAC streamlined promotion of the app across Google Search, Play, YouTube and the Google Display Network. The team simply created a single campaign with a few lines of text, a bid and creative assets. Seamless integration with Firebase Analytics made it easy to measure in-app engagement and gain valuable insights as the activity unfolded.

“The whole campaign ran for a total of four weeks and the overall metrics we achieved were phenomenal!” Panos Bassios, Head of Digital Services at OPAP reveals. “In the paid digital media sector we achieved incredible results.” Compared to the previous year, the number of app installs increased by a factor of four and the total financial contribution also increased fourfold, exceeding €3.2 million. More than 2,300 teams were created with an average of 28 people per team, while a total of 25 challenges were played 1.6 million times. The app held the number-one position on both Google Play and the App Store for a total of 28 days.

“Through Google we managed to achieve 20% of the total number of downloads – the largest share amongst all of the channels we used”, says Vassilis Katsikadis, SEM & Social Ads Specialist at OPAP. “We also achieved a CPI that was 80% less than the overall blended CPI across channels.”