License This! Set for New Format This Year

License This! competition returns at Licensing Expo and Brand Licensing Europe this year, in a slightly revised format, designed to reach a broader audience.
Ian Hart

March 28, 2023

License This! logo
License This! logoGlobal Licensing Group

Global Licensing Group, the team behind

Licensing Expo

and Brand Licensing Europe, has announced a change in format to this year’s

License This!

competition. 

License This! aims to spotlight newcomers into the industry, inviting artists, illustrators, designers and creatives with no existing licensing experience to submit concepts to be reviewed by a panel of expert judges. Entrants will be reviewed based on level of ingenuity, licensing potential and alignment with today’s marketplace.

The competition boosts the profiles of new brands, illustrators, inventors and product designers and helps them to break into the $300 billion global licensing market. 

It will remain free to enter and open to new unlicensed properties from a company or person who is completely new to the industry or has not licensed before.  

However, this year the competition will be hosted virtually, with the one winner and three runners-up being announced on stage at Licensing Expo in June. From June, entries will open for

the Brand Licensing Europe competition, with the winner being announced at the event in October. 

For this year, there will just be one competition to enter, with the different categories from previous years being removed.  

“A takeaway from the pandemic we have learned is that streamlining initiatives in a virtual format can provide more opportunity and engagement,” says Anna Lommatzsch, event manager, Licensing Expo. “With that in mind, we curated the new format of License This! to reach a broader audience by shifting to virtual participation and removing the specific category breakdown, in the hopes of reaching more contestants who are trying to break into the world of licensing. With only one winner selected, the benefits and prizes have been enhanced and will create a lasting impact on furthering someone’s journey in this industry.”  

For Licensing Expo, the judging panel will be drawn from the License Global editorial team, while for Brand Licensing Europe, a panel of industry figures will meet prior to the event to decide the winner, as in previous years. 

To be considered for entry, applicants will submit a three-minute video pitch, giving an overview of their entry concept. 

The winner will receive year-round support from License Global, including being featured in the event Show Dailies, one year’s Licensing International membership, a free-of-charge booth at the event next year, among other notable prizes. The three short-listed participants will also receive a feature in the Licensing Expo show daily.  

In 2022, the

BLE License This! competition winners

were Crispin Lowrey with The Spookysaurus, Yvonne Ottley with Frobelles and Penny Kyriacou with Invent-A-Cards. At

Licensing Expo, the winners were

Kieche Meleson O'Connell with Catoms: Atoms with Attitude and Stef "Sharky" Schultz with Hunnie Bumble and Friends. 

Introducing: Ignite Brand Pitches

It has also been announced that Licensing Expo will release a new concept, Ignite Brand Pitches.

Ignite Brand Pitches is aimed at Licensing Expo’s signed exhibitors to provide them with a platform to generate buzz and brands with existing licensing portfolios. Five selected brands will be given the opportunity to pitch their brand on-site at Licensing Expo in June. 

“Trend spotting is continuously ranked as one of the top objectives for attendees visiting Licensing Expo and we wanted to find a creative way to provide our brands and visitors an experience that was meaningful,” says Lommatzsch. “The ’ignite presentation’ format is an innovative way to portray several brands, showcasing their concept in 5-minute increments through rapid-fire pitches consisting of 20 total slides that will advance every 15 seconds. We hope this concept provides brands an opportunity to generate a buzz around their initiatives and fulfills the audience who is keen to spot new trends.” 

Both programs aim to highlight new branding concepts from never-before licensed and emerging IPs. Both competitions are free to enter, with submissions closing on April 17, 2023.

“Breaking into the licensing business can be daunting, especially for those without prior experience or exposure,” says Amanda Cioletti, vice president, content & strategy, License Global. “Our aim for License This! is to provide an annual forum for original product development with the insight of real seasoned experts who can best advise, inform and influence the future of consumer products, trends and brand extension experiences.”

“There is high demand at Licensing Expo to curate experiences surrounding emerging and existing IPs, with brand discovery a key reason that attendees come to the show – to seek the next big thing,” says Ella Haynes, event director, Licensing Expo. “With this in mind, we wanted to bring back License This! to provide a voice for those who are trying to break into the licensing industry. We are also launching Ignite Brand Pitches this year to support continued innovation and to spotlight ‘newness’ for existing exhibitors to amplify their current projects.”

Registration for

Licensing Expo

, which takes place June 13-15 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, is open now.

Click here to register for Licensing Expo 2023

.

Brand Licensing Europe will take place Oct. 4-6 at London’s ExCeL. 

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