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Rival Stars Horse Racing app icon

Rival Stars Horse Racing

Players train horses.
Rival Stars Horse Racing
expands reach.

Rival Stars Horse Racing on the App Store on the App Store
With Rival Stars Horse Racing, players can breed, train, and race horses. The app’s publisher, PikPok, improved visibility among horse-loving gamers with Apple Search Ads—increasing new player acquisition, redownloads, and ROAS (return on ad spend)
across new markets.

The Results

3x increase in global downloads within a year.
2.5x higher conversion rate than other ad platforms.
2x higher day seven ROAS compared with other ad platforms.
#1 platform for cost-per-acquisition — 50% lower than similar platforms.

The Challenge

For a niche games app like Rival Stars Horse Racing, it was critical to reach the right audience — one that’s interested in immersive rather than fantasy gameplay. To drive quality acquisition and to reengage former subscribers, the team at PikPok needed to improve app visibility at the moment these horse lovers were searching for games on the App Store. Ensuring strong ROAS while driving global expansion was also a key goal.

Apple Search Ads is a core platform for scaling user acquisition around the world because we can consistently connect with audiences that are the most
open to discovery.

The Solution

Localize keywords to scale growth.

To better manage budget and optimize for performance, the PikPok team created separate Apple Search Ads campaigns for every market. Search Match helped them reach broader audiences and identify new, relevant search terms specific to the country or region. With these local keyword insights, they were able to optimize for ROAS, moving the best-performing keywords from broad match to exact match.


The team at PikPok further scaled reach and protected against competitive challenges with brand campaigns, capturing strong intent by prospects searching for their brand franchise terms. “The search term insights we gained from Apple Search Ads were key to driving our growth in new markets,” says PikPok User Acquisition Operations Manager Brandon Yang. “They also helped complement our organic presence by informing our App Store product page optimization.”

Optimize bidding to drive performance.

To maximize performance and impressions, the PikPok team used bid insights at the campaign level as well as impression share reports to adjust investment. They applied their most aggressive bids to top-performing exact match keywords. “With Apple Search Ads, we were able to find that sweet spot of scaling brand awareness in new markets while also delivering stronger conversions from people actively looking for a cinematic, realistic game like ours,” says Yang.

Maximize revenue by reengaging existing customers.

Reengaging players who had previously downloaded the app was critical to the PikPok team’s growth strategy. To highlight updated immersive features, the team set up campaigns that were refined to returning players. They monitored performance closely, adding and removing search terms based on redownloads performance and adjusting bids at the keyword level to scale reach. 


“We’re always deepening the experience of our game, so being able to reintroduce the app to former players is an ideal way to connect with people who are already engaged,” says Yang.

Company Snapshot

  • PikPok
  • Games category
  • Launched in 1997
  • Based in Wellington, New Zealand
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