Now in its 11th year, the License This! competition welcomes two new judges to its panel for 2019–Sarah Ward, chief executive, Giftware Association and Victor Caddy, director, trademark & design partner, License This! sponsor Wynne-Jones IP.
The competition features two award categories: Character & Animation and Brand & Design. There is no limit to the number of brands who can enter, but six finalists will be chosen on the judging day, Sept. 5, to pitch against one another live at BLE, which takes place between Oct. 1-3 at ExCeL London.
Two winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2020, one year’s License International (formerly LIMA) membership, PR support and advice from a panel of industry experts. Previous entrants–both winners and finalists–have successfully signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition.
This year’s judges have been confirmed as:
- Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, License International UK (chair)
- Sarah Ward, chief executive officer, Giftware Association
Character & Entertainment award
- Dan Grant, director of licensing, Danilo Promotions
- Nikki Samuels, licensing director, Sambro
- Clare Piggott, director, Larkshead Media
- Julia Redman, head of buying, M&Co
Brand & Design award
- Stuart Cox, founder, I Like Birds
- Vicki Thomas, owner, Vicki Thomas Associates
- Sarah Lawrence, owner, This is Iris
- Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, Jehane
- Will Stewart, managing director, The Point 1888
"What started as a bit of a blue sky idea a few years ago has turned into a highly-respected and genuinely valuable showcase for new licensing talent," says Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, License International UK and chair, License This! "We've seen winners and runners-up from previous years get picked up by agencies to represent them, and the programs built are now themselves winning excellent sales and also licensing awards. As this news spreads, I expect the breadth and standard of entries to continue to build in quality, and I'm excited to be part of the 2019 contest. Don't miss the live final at BLE 2019, it's going to be great!"
"We are delighted to sponsor BLE's License This! competition once again,” says Victor Caddy, director, trademark & design partner, License This! sponsor Wynne-Jones. “It's a great initiative for startups to get a foot in the door to such a thriving industry. Licensing is a crowded space, and getting that all-important first-deal or first-break is crucial but can take time. License This! gives brand and product innovators the perfect opportunity and platform from which to get noticed."
To apply for the competition, visit the BLE website’s License This! Application form page.