The winners of the 2020 Licensing International Excellence Awards were unveiled in a first-for-the-industry, live, virtual event that brought together nearly 1,000 industry executives from around the world.
“This year marks the 35th anniversary of the International Licensing Awards, and while we had of course looked forward to celebrating in person, this virtual gathering was an amazing event,” says Maura Regan, president, Licensing International. “Perhaps more than ever, it was important to celebrate the incredible creativity and innovation of our industry. Seeing the very best work of this industry on display, alongside some of the dynamic executives who drive it, was a powerful reminder that, in the wake of uncertainty, the power of trusted brands and well-known licenses is more critical than ever before.”
The event, hosted by Marshall Mizrahi, vice president, Handcraft and stand-up comic, saw licensing powerhouse Martha Stewart inducted into the Licensing Hall of Fame and a showcase of this year’s six international Rising Stars: Krystyna Braxton (NFL Players Inc.); Allison Cimino (RockLove); Carolina Garcia Souza (Cinecolor Colombia, representative of The Walt Disney Company); Gao Qiang (Tencent); Hannah Stevens (The Point.1888); and Louis Yenik (Crunchyroll). Newly redesigned trophies for both the main Awards and the Hall of Fame were also unveiled at the event, designed by Alternatives and PowerStation Studios, respectively.
The 23 awards winners hail from around the globe, including companies from Brazil, France, Germany, Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. and were unveiled by 10 leading licensing executives.
The Coca-Cola Company and Sesame Workshop each won multiple trophies – Coca-Cola swept the Food & Beverage categories, winning Best Product for its Coca-Cola-flavored Tic Tacs in partnership with Ferrero, and picked up the prize for Best Food & Beverage Brand of the Year. Sesame Workshop’s “Sesame Street” was named Best Live-Action Entertainment or Character Brand and also won for its “A Cautionary Tale” promotion with Squarespace. Meanwhile, Wildbrain CPLG was crowned as the first-ever winner in the newly added Best Licensing Agency category.
A number of companies supported the Licensing International Small Business Global Grants Fund by taking space in the Awards Program, which was made available digitally Monday. Thanks to their contributions, the Grants Fund has raised more than $110,000 to help small businesses in the licensing community impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To learn how to donate to the fund or to apply for a grant, click here.
The 2020 Licensing International Excellence Awards winners are:
Best Licensed Products
- Apparel / Footwear / Accessories – Vans for David Bowie Apparel & Footwear Range;
- Appliance / Automotive / Housewares / Electronics – Pro-Ject Audio Systems for The Beatles Turntable;
- Toys / Games / Novelties For Ages 0-8 – WowWee for Pinkfong Baby Shark Song Puppets;
- Apps / Software / Video Games – Story Toys / Touch Press for Lego Duplo World App;
- Food / Beverage – The Coca-Cola Company / Ferrero for Coca-Cola Tic Tac;
- Health & Beauty Aids – Lipsmacker for Crayola Lip Care Line;
- Home Décor – Dreamtex Ltd for National Geographic Recycled Bedding;
- Publishing / Back-to-School – Party City – Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year Partygoods & Tableware; and
- Toys / Games / Novelties For Ages 8+ – Lego for Stranger Things Lego Set.
Best Licensed Brands
- Art / Design / Celebrity / Fashion Brand – V&A by Victoria & Albert Museum;
- Digital / App / Video Game Brand – Brown & Friends by LINE Friends;
- Corporate Brand – Cat by Caterpillar;
- Entertainment / Character Brand: Animated – Peppa Pig by eOne / Hasbro;
- Entertainment / Character Brand: Live-Action – Sesame Street by Sesame Workshop;
- Food / Beverage / Restaurant Brand – Coca-Cola by The Coca-Cola Company; and
- Sports / Collegiate Brand – Rugby World Cup by World Rugby / IMG.
- Best Licensed Promotion – Squarespace & Sesame Street “A Cautionary Tale”;
- Best Licensed Collaboration – SpongeBob Squarepants x Nike x Kyrie Irving;
- Best Experiential or Location-Based Initiative – The Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Royal Horticultural Society;
- Best Retailer for a Character / Entertainment Initiative – Galeries Lafayette for Batman;
- Best Retailer for Corporate / Lifestyle/ Sports Initiative – NBA Stores Brazil;
- Best Licensing Agency – Wildbrain CPLG; and
- The Newcomer Award – Harrogate Tipple Ltd for Downton Abbey Gin & Whisky.