The deadline to enter has been extended and entries close at 5 p.m. BST on Sept. 4. Winners and finalists announced on stage at Brand Licensing Europe, ahead of Day One opening keynote.

License Global

August 28, 2023

5 Min Read
Kelvyn Gardner’s License This! logo
Kelvyn Gardner’s License This! logoLicense Global

The submissions window has opened for this year’s Kelvyn Gardner’s License This! competition. The competition, which has been the springboard for many successful brands and careers over the years, is free to enter. Entries close at 5 p.m. BST on Sept. 4.

Organized by Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) (Oct. 4-6, ExCeL, London) and License Global, License This! competition propels illustrators, publishers, designers or animators with unlicensed brands into the spotlight, helping them break into the lucrative $340+ billion global brand licensing industry, secure new deals or agent representation. 

Free registration for Brand Licensing Europe 2023 is now open.

How to Enter License This!

License This! is free to enter; applicants are required to submit a written overview, video pitch and detailed vision explaining why their brand is suitable for licensing. The video is replacing the live pitch, which previously took place in front of the judges at BLE.  

This year’s judging panel will review the entries based on their: 

  • Level of ingenuity

  • Licensing potential

  • Alignment with today’s marketplace

  • Why it’s unique

This year, the judging will take place ahead of BLE, with the winner and three runners-up announced on stage ahead of the Day One opening keynote on Wednesday, Oct. 4.    

Related:License This! Winner Unveiled

The winner will receive over £7,000 of free exposure and promotional support to help develop their brand:  

  • An editorial feature in the BLE 2023 Show Daily

  • Promotional support from BLE and License Global for 12 months

  • Free of charge turnkey booth at BLE 2024

  • One-year Licensing International membership

  • One-year Products of Change membership  

  • Pop-up banner display at Brand Licensing Europe 2024

  • Exclusive interview of the winning brand, featured on License Global

  • One hour of one-on-one mentorship post-event with judge, Robyn Cowling

  • One hour one on one mentorship opportunity with License Global editorial staff

  • Access to LinkedIn community group of current and past winners

And the three finalists will receive:  

  • An editorial feature in the BLE Show Daily 

  • Pop-up banner display at Brand Licensing Europe 2024 

  • One-hour mentorship opportunity for finalist group with industry experts 

  • Access to LinkedIn community group of current and past winners

Sophie Jonas-Hill is a License This! winner from 2021. Since winning, a series of posters featuring her artwork has been sold through HMV.   

“Winning License This! has been literally life-changing for me and my business – it’s amazing,” says Jonas-Hill. “I’ve had the best advice and guidance you really couldn’t buy from all the panel, who have introduced me to so many new contacts and opportunities I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. I’ve learned so much so fast! I nearly didn’t enter as I thought I wasn’t established enough to get through, but everyone has been so excited by my art and brands; it’s been really positive and supportive,” she said.  

2023 License This! Judging Panel

Chair: Robyn Cowling, licensing consultant, brand director, Rocky Horror Show, Golden Goose 

  • Sarah Lawrence, licensing director, This is Iris 

  • Dale Boreham, senior design manager, Moonpig 

  • Teri Niadna, managing director, Brandgenuity 

  • Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo 

  • Billy Langsworthy, co-founder, Mojo Nation & Brands Untapped 

  • Maxine Lister, head, licensing, Natural History Museum  

  • Sabrina Segalov, senior licensing manager, Sanrio Global Limited 

  • Emily Fawcett, head, global licensing, Abysse Corp 

  • Clare Piggott, managing director, Larkshead Licensing

  • Charlie Langhorne, co-founder, managing director, Wild in Art 

  • Phil King, managing director, Trademark Products

  • Ben Roberts, content director, EMEA, License Global  

  • Ian Hart, senior digital editor, U.K. & EMEA, License Global 

“I’m honored to be working with such a fantastic cohort of licensing specialists to scout, support and nurture new brand creators,” says Cowling. “The licensing industry is a truly collaborative world, uniquely combining creativity and commercial endeavors and I’m excited to see what untapped talent lies out there and how we can guide them towards making their ideas into real consumer products programs.” 

License This! – Tips for Entry Submissions

License Global spoke with several of the judges to find out what they are looking for in entry submissions this year.

“I really enjoyed being part of the judging panel for License This! ahead of Licensing Expo earlier this year and am excited to see what the selection of entries has in store this time around,” says Hart. “I will be looking for something that really stands out from the crowd, is interesting and unique. For me, it’s important the submission clearly evidences the market they see their brand fitting into and what gap in the market the brand can fill.”

“I have been privileged to be part of the judging panel for License This! for a number of years now and its always great to see new IP being developed,” says Grant. “There is always a rich pipeline of creativity coming through in the competition, supported by great passion from the creators. It is a competition that has provided a launch pad for many new IP creators to enter the world of licensing and will provide the same opportunity for many more in the future.”

“I’m delighted to be part of the judging team for License This!,” says Langhorne. “I’ll be looking for ideas and thoughts that have real potential for development, but also, and something that is important for me, ideas that contribute to a happy mind-set and, frankly, make people smile.”

“I am really pleased to serve on the panel for this year’s edition of License This!,” says Niadna. “As a panelist, I am looking for unique creative with an interesting story behind it, designed with a specific consumer in mind. It’s always exciting when you look at a property and can immediately visualize the products and the retailers who would support it.”

“It is fantastic to be a part of the License This! judging process,” says Segalov. “I am really keen to see submissions that, whilst being current and relevant, have a vision to ensure longevity and be around for many years to come.”

“License This! is a great way to get expert support and advice as you look to develop the commercial potential of your new brand,” says Piggott. “As a creative industry it’s important to support the talent of tomorrow – ideas come from many different places which is what makes this competition so exciting - helping the judges by clearly outlining your brand ambitions and product plans makes an entry stand out – so if you are thinking of entering put your best licensing foot forward – you never know what might happen!” 

Entries are welcome now at License This! 2023 competition. If you have any questions on the entry process, please contact event organizers [email protected] or [email protected].

Free registration for Brand Licensing Europe 2023 is now open.

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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