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How GLG Kept the Licensing Community Together in 2021

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Virtual meetings made way for the return of live events for the Global Licensing Group this year, bringing countless insights into a new brand landscape.

The Global Licensing Group continued to innovate in the live events space throughout 2021. In June, GLG held the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit in Europe. The first day of the inaugural virtual BLIS was chock-full of actionable, inspiring content for European licensing leaders. Sustainability was the focus of Day 2 of BLIS Europe, as Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder, Products of Change, welcomed a raft of speakers from across the brand and licensing landscape to discuss a greener future. Streaming, hybrid models, top-selling IPs and influencer engagement, Day 3 of BLIS Europe broke down the leading growth sectors and innovative new paths entertainment is taking in 2021 and beyond.  

Licensing Expo Virtual was held in August, bridging the licensing community. The three-day event debuted the Digital Brand Roadshows program, which offered Licensing Expo attendees the opportunity to experience a collection of six thematic live roadshows that spotlighted the best in upcoming brands, new content releases and some of the most compelling IP portfolios available to license based on the latest industry trends. Keynotes included Pam Lifford and Robert Oberschelp of Warner Bros., who highlighted strategies and dropped major hints for the future of the company. 

“It’s a DC year,” says Lifford. “We’re going to deliver more movies than we ever have. We’re going to show up as a company, collectively, in ways that we’ve never done before.” 

The topic of the fireside chat with Mattel's Richard Dickson and Roz Nowicki was "Mattel and Living Its Brand Purpose,” highlighting the company's purpose to empower the next generation to explore the wonders of childhood and reach their full potential. 

 “It's about staying close to culture and in tune with what's happening, being curious and, of course, taking calculated risks and truthfully, most importantly, surrounding myself with the most talented people," says Dickson. "To do that, those brands have to know who they are and what they stand for. At Mattel, I've made brand purpose an important priority and a pathway I believe in navigating with cultural relevance."  

In November, the licensing industry was finally able to meet IRL with the return of Brand Licensing Europe. The first day of BLE included a keynote panel with Team GB's Tim Ellerton, The Point. 1888's Will Stewart and Olympic gold medalists Tom Daley and Charlotte Worthington. With a focus on Paris 2024, Team GB is readying for a more active future with the International Olympic Committee and The Point.1888.  

“This brand is about heroes at a time when we need heroes,” says Stewart. 

 On the second day of BLE, attendees learned more about diversity in the licensing industry in the keynote held by Mark Kingston and Ameeta Held of ViacomCBS; Maura Regan, Licensing International and Saphia Maxamed, Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement.  

“Dolls are more than just toys, they are reflections of our society, showcasing the cultural standards of beauty that so many young girls internalize,” says Held. “The relationship that dolls have to girls’ self-esteem and their perceptions of themselves is a powerful one. It plays an important role in the development of their own aspirations and dreams.” 

“Kids and consumers need diversity,” says Kingston. “If they see it, they can be it.” 

The Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition was held on the final day of BLE, rebranded to honor the late licensing industry stalwart.  

To keep up with what's in store for the Global Licensing Group in 2022, log onto TheGlobalLicensingGroup.com

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