Utmost International – Team Guernsey 2023

Utmost International is a leading provider of insurance-based wealth solutions operating in the UK, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.  

Utmost is headquartered in London and they operate from eight locations around the world, including Guernsey.  

The Challenge

Utmost International Guernsey’s objective was to enhance brand awareness through a series of strategic campaigns focused on the local community, one of which is their longstanding sponsorship of the Guernsey Island Games Team.  

This sponsorship collaboration spanned 12 years (10 “official” years due to the pandemic), commencing in 2011. In 2023, Utmost cemented their association with Team Guernsey and the Games through additional Games sponsorship. 

Having worked with Utmost, previously Generali Worldwide since 2011, Black Vanilla was asked to devise a campaign that would effectively showcase the Utmost brand and its values, shine a spotlight on the athletes and create a long-term benefit for the local community. No small feat.  

The Black Vanilla approach

Strategic priorities identified included the need for guaranteed placement, credibility, social buzz and long-term branding placement, so Black Vanilla used the PESO framework to meticulously plan, organise and execute this campaign. 


To build the buzz around Team Guernsey, we ran multiple adverts throughout this campaign, designed to keep the local community updated on Team Guernsey’s selection progress.  

These adverts ran in both print and digital media across a variety of outlets including social media, the Guernsey Press and Bailiwick Express.  

We also negotiated an ‘earwig deal’ whereby when GIGA was mentioned in the Guernsey Press, the Utmost logo would also appear on the page – cementing brand association with the team. 


Utmost benefited from a flow of editorial coverage across the Bailiwick media outlets, from print to television.  

Notable pieces of coverage include: 

  • Legacy bench unveiling 
  • Kit reveal 
  • Flag bearer & water carrier reveal 
  • Bouanne Chance send-off event  



As Utmost does not have a local Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page, we launched two campaigns on the Guernsey Island Games Association (GIGA) social media pages.  

The first campaign began around 11 months before the Games which shone a light on up-and-coming stars and also Games veterans. We worked with Etienne Laine on the action-shot photography.  

This helped to build excitement around who would be selected, engender pride and also highlight the dedication of athletes who have competed in many past Games. 

The second campaign in the lead-up to the Games included a look-back at all of the previous Games when Utmost has sponsored Team Guernsey. These posts underscored Utmost’s sponsorship commitment over the past decade and started the ball rolling for the 2023 Games. 



As athletes were selected for the Island Games, we installed a wrap around the Utmost office building with the faces of Team Guernsey. This ambient installation created publicity opportunities for the sponsorship, and also created staff pride in the firm’s community activity.  

From initial photography sessions to the placement of the ‘faces of Team Guernsey’ this was a project that drew attention to both the athletes competing and Utmost International.

Team Guernsey is fortunate enough to have its very own mascot – Darcy the Donkey. To engage the island’s younger generation, Darcy Donkey attended 10 primary school sports days, along with the Bouanne Chance, Opening Ceremony and Vin D’Honneur event.  

Darcy gets directly involved with the children’s sports and is always welcomed by the schools. The Utmost logo sits on Darcy’s sporting t-shirt so it’s a great placement for the brand and the mission of involving younger people in the Games. 


Legacy Project

With Utmost heading into their final year of sponsorship, we felt a legacy project was a fitting way to create brand awareness for years to come. Central to this strategy was the creation of Utmost branded and Island Games-inspired granite benches, located at Footes Lane.  

These benches were beautifully designed to include etchings depicting all sports included in the Island Games, as well as a tribute to Owen Le Valley (the founder of the Games). Located in the sporting heart of Guernsey, they have become a place for all of the community to sit, talk and think.

Black Vanilla managed the various stakeholders involved in the project as well as the design, production and promotion of this project.

The Results

  • Our advertising gained 195,200 impressions across multiple media outlets.  
  • We received around 60 pieces of editorial in local media  
  • Utmost branded kit was seen on Guernsey athletes around the world 
  • Benches have been installed with the Utmost and GIGA branding and will remain at Footes Lane for years to come.  
  • 10 schools benefitted from Darcy Donkey attending their sports days.  
  • Team Guernsey attended an internal drinks event, Bouanne Chance and Vin D’Honneur event at Government House to celebrate their dedication and success. 
  • Over 300 athletes received professional photography as a thank you and for their own social media content 
  • The Team Guernsey Facebook page grew from 1,200 visits per month to 11,500. 

We were extremely pleased with Black Vanilla’s execution of the campaign. They demonstrated great attention to detail and took the lead with enthusiasm and expertise. Their dedication and creative approach were instrumental in achieving outstanding results for the Island Games campaign. Black Vanilla’s efforts were integral to our positive positioning throughout, and we were thrilled with the outcome.

Leon Steyn, CEO , Utmost International Guernsey

The Collaborators

Etienne Laine Photography

Granite Le Pelley

Mark Cooke

Dowding Signs

Spike Productions


Black Vanilla is essential to my business, I consider them a long-term partner in my work. I initially approached PR with a degree of cynicism but was quickly impressed by the difference that the team’s expertise has made to my business.

In addition to devising and implementing a social media strategy that has proved extremely beneficial in raising Leaders’ profile, their
proactivity has opened opportunities to reach new clients and develop our core leadership offering.

Phil Eyre, CEO, Leaders, Leaders

Black Vanilla was instrumental in bringing our vision for the event to life. They transformed the venue and produced an evening which truly showcased some of Guernsey’s best qualities. The team were amazing to work with and truly encapsulated our needs.

Claire Heaume, Manager, Marketing and Communications, , Butterfield Bank (Guernsey) Limited

We have worked with the team at Black Vanilla for a number of years, across our events and publishing platforms. They understand the markets and the readership we are dealing with, not to mention our exacting requirements which differentiate us from other businesses in our space. I can’t fault their attention to detail and responsiveness to our business needs.

Carl Methven, Publisher, BL Global

I was very impressed with your whole PR operation – you put a lot of effort into supporting the event and it was handled very professionally.

UK based producer