Subscription-based sports website The Athletic was operating in a saturated market in the US. In order to continue to grow and expand as a business, The Athletic needed to identify new markets for international expansion. This brought on new challenges such as increased investment and the need for continual optimization at scale.
The Croud difference
Croud and The Athletic worked closely together to break into three large and diverse markets, while also continuing activity in the US. The Athletic had big ambitions, and Croud had the expertise to recognize how international expansion would be a strategic growth area.
After digging into their business objectives and profitability metrics, the team presented an international expansion plan to grow market share and expand their paying subscriber base beyond the US, starting out with three English-speaking countries.
Croud launched universal app campaigns (UAC) internationally to direct users into The Athletic’s iOS and Android apps to sign up. Creative is often the variable to success and the team used the new UAC ad groups feature to separate creative by sport and test algorithmically which sports creative resonated the most in each market, allowing for continual optimization.
Making up almost 15% of The Athletic’s overall investment, within six months the international campaigns launched by Croud contributed to 19% of the company’s app sign-up growth, while achieving low-cost installs. Across markets, the campaign delivered over 36 million impressions, and 31,000 conversions.
To achieve The Athletic’s marketing objective of quickly growing an overseas subscriber base, we decided to partner with Croud on our campaign due to their localization knowledge. We also teamed up with Google to provide a scalable marketing solution. Working alongside Croud and Google, and by continually testing, learning and optimizing throughout each campaign launch, we were able to generate really positive results for the business.
Tracy Pan, Senior Director, Performance Marketing, The Athletic