2023 Brand Anniversaries: A Comprehensive List

As 2022 draws to a close, License Global looks ahead to 2023 to see which brands will be celebrating anniversaries and what that could mean for the licensing industry.
Ian Hart

December 8, 2022

Two iconic studios, Disney and

Warner Bros

., were both founded in 1923 and will be celebrating their centenary year in 2023, along with several other historic brands. 

Founded as the Disney Brothers Studio on Oct. 16, 1923, by brothers Walt and Roy O. Disney. The

Walt Disney Company’s

products and retail experiences span across its iconic brands, such as Disney,

Pixar

,

Marvel

,

Star Wars

,

ESPN

, Twentieth Century and

National Geographic

, all of which are delivered through channels including the shopDisney e-commerce platform, as well as at Disney Parks, local and mass-market retailers and Disney stores globally.

In October, it began its “

100 Years of Wonder

” celebrations with a star-studded event in London, where it announced a series of experiences, exhibitions and concerts to celebrate its centenary year. These include: 

  • Disney100: The Concert

    • Disney100: The Exhibition

      • Wonder of Friendship – The Experience

        • The Wonder of Play

          • New products, merchandise and collaborations

            Two of Disney’s brands, National Geographic and Marvel Studios are also celebrating anniversaries in 2023. 

            Founded on Jan. 13, 1888, as a scholarly journal,

            National Geographic

            National Geographic

            celebrates its 135th anniversary. Now a popular magazine, The Walt Disney Company has held controlling interest in the company since 2019.

            Television production company

            Marvel Studios

            was founded on Dec. 7, 1993, as Marvel Enterprises and is set to turn 30. It is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, a division of the Walt Disney Company. Marvel Studios produces the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and series, based on characters that appear in Marvel Comics publications. 

            In 2022, the Walt Disney Company was ranked top of License Global's annual report,

            The Top Global Licensors

            Warner Bros. was founded by four brothers, Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner, as Warner Brothers Classics of the Screen on Apr. 4, 1923.

            Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

            . is the flagship subsidiary of the newly formed

            Warner Bros. Discovery

            , which consists of nine business units, including DC Entertainment and CNN. In October, Warner Bros. Discovery announced the

            merging of Cartoon Network Studios with sister studio Warner Bros. Animation

            .

            Warnermedia/

            Warner Bros. Consumer Products

            , which is encompassed by Warner Bros. Discovery Global Brands and Experiences, was listed fourth in License Global’s Top Global Licensors in 2022. Warner Bros. Discovery Global Brands and Experiences grows consumer relationships across franchises such as “Harry Potter,” “Friends,” “Game of Thrones,” “Wonder Woman,” “Batman,” “Superman,” “Rick and Morty” and more. 

            Earlier in 2022, Warner Bros. unveiled a centenary logo, highlighting its ‘100 years of storytelling.’ It intends to rollout a host of fan-focused activities, including commemorative product launches, relaunches of classic movies in theaters, special content releases, consumer live events, exclusive merchandise, collabs and mashups. 

            The world’s oldest endurance race,

            24 Hours of Le Mans

            , will celebrate its centenary race on June 10 and 11, 2023. The race was first run May 26 and 27, 1923, through public roads around Le Mans, France.

            Race organizer, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) has partnered with the Monnaie de Paris, the institution responsible for producing France’s coins, to create a unique centenary trophy for the winner of the race.  

            Along with the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix, the event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport. 

            License Global spoke with Sandrine Weyders, François Brindeau and Paul Jouvet from ACO to discuss

            24 Hours of Le Mans’ licensing plans for the centenary race

            .

            The

            Kraft Heinz Company

            , as it’s now known, originated as Kraft Foods in December 1923 and is now one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, with global brands such as Heinz, Velveeta, Oscar Mayer, Capri-Sun, Maxwell House and Philadelphia.  

            In the last 12 months, the Kraft Heinz company has launched a

            card collection with Moonpig

            , teamed up with Popbar for

            hot dog-flavored frozen treats

            and partnered with

            Hilco on a new candy

            line. 

            75-99-year anniversaries

            Transport for London 

            The London Underground map marks its 90th anniversary in 2023.

            Designed by Harry Beck in 1933, the unique design of iconic map is recognized worldwide, opting for neat, colorful lines, rather than geographical accuracy, like traditional maps.

            Jan. 10 marked 160 years since the network itself opened. The line between Paddington and Farringdon used gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives and became the world's first underground railway. 

            TfL has a busy year in 2022, with collaborations with the likes of

            Arsenal Football Club

            ,

            Kurt Geiger

            ,

            Erve

            and

            London Sock Exchange

            . Having announced in October that its

            brand licensing and development agency

            is up for tender, more details are expected soon regarding anniversary collaborations.  

            Beano 

            Anthology comic magazine,

            Beano

            , was created by publishing company DC Thomson, with its first issue being published 85 years ago, on July 30, 1938. Beano has created characters that have stood the test of time. It is represented by

            Rocket Licensing

            , which says Beano has 91% brand recognition amongst adults in the U.K.  

            Rocket is preparing a celebratory range of consumer products to mark the milestone. 

            PUMA 

            Athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories brand

            PUMA

            will be 75 in 2023. The brand is set to highlight its classic footwear styles, including the  PUMA Suede, Clyde, Riders and Slip Streams, through dedicated content and events. 

            PUMA was amongst License Global’s Leading Licensees in 2022.

            Laura Ashley

            “We have big plans for Laura Ashley in its 70th year, from partnering with Britain’s best loved brands to stepping further into the fashion sphere with multiple collaborations,” says Carolyn D’Angelo, managing director, Gordon Brothers Brands, president, Laura Ashley Global. “We’re also expanding our global store portfolio with openings planned in Japan and Korea. Our ambitious targets will see the brand continue to grow in the U.K. and beyond.”

            The anniversary product collection and exclusive collaborations will carry the brand’s anniversary stamp, which celebrates 70 years of heritage. The design features the bramble that is recognizable from the early brand logo, developed by Laura Ashley herself and her love for wildflowers and British hedgerows.

            Playboy 

            Men's lifestyle and entertainment magazine, Playboy, formerly in print and currently online, was first published 70 years ago, in 1953. 

            “Doctor Who,” BBC Studios 

            First aired on Nov. 23, 1963, the iconic Doctor turns 60 in 2023. In 2021,

            BBC Studios

            , the distributor and licensing agent for the action-adventure series “

            Doctor Who

            ,” partnered with Beeline Creative, Hallmark and Rittenhouse to bring brand new collectibles to fans in the U.S. In

            September’s issue of License Global

            , Alastair Smith, senior publicist, children’s & global comms lead, BBC Studios didn’t give much away about plans for the anniversary celebrations, which have been kept relatively under wraps, but it has been revealed that actors David Tennant and Catherine Tate will be returning in some capacity.

            51-74-year anniversaries

            Peeps

            This year, the

            Peeps brand is celebrating its 70th anniversary

            and launching its Easter candy collection earlier than ever. The lineup includes returning flavors and new marshmallow creations.

            50th anniversaries 

            ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ 

            In 1973, “The Rocky Horror Show” debuted at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Ahead its 50th anniversary,

            Golden Goose has been appointed to develop an international licensing program

            .

            New

            licensees and new international agency representatives have signed up

            in advance of the musical’s milestone, include dress up (Smiffy’s), illustrated comic books (Dark Horse) and categories in development include apparel, figurines, pinball and slot machines. 

            Van Gogh Museum 

            The

            Van Gogh Museum

            in Amsterdam, Netherlands, first welcomed visitors on June 2, 1973. Ever since, the museum has been inspiring people with the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. The 50th anniversary program includes three special exhibitions at the museum and a birthday party on Museumplein in Amsterdam on June 2, 2023. 

            In September,

            Marijn Veraart, head, global partnerships and licensing, Van Gogh Museum, spoke to License Global

            about the museum’s plans to mark the milestone. “We have new artwork specially developed for the 50th anniversary which we will showcase and would love to meet new companies to celebrate this with us with a limited-edition product line or assortment. Like we do with our existing partners. We want to really celebrate our 50th anniversary together and everything that comes with it.” 

            Hip-Hop

             

            August 1973 marks the origins of Hip-Hop

            , and an entire culture that has moved the world for 50 years. As part of the worldwide celebration for this cultural milestone, Legends Recordings announced the launch of The Official 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop licensing program.

            In November, Eric Adams, mayor, New York City, announced New York City will honor the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop by

            hosting 50 events throughout 2023

            , in connection with the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

            Led by

            The Brand Liaison

            , The 50th Anniverary of Hip-Hop international licensing will include merchandise, concerts and music festivals, including an appearance at the Licensing Expo 2022 opening night party in Las Vegas. The Brand Liaison has already announced the

            first wave of apparel and accessories licensing deals

            celebrating the milestone.

            In addition, Legends Recordings has teamed up with nonprofit organization, Beats Rhymes & Relief, to

            create a hip-hop community fund,

            with the goal of raising $250 million.

            25-49-year anniversaries

            “Return of the Jedi”, LucasFilms 

            The third installment of the original “

            Star Wars

            ” trilogy, “Return of the Jedi,” was released 40 years ago, on May 25, 1983. It is now the sixth chronological film in the ‘Skywalker Saga’ in a franchise that stretches to nine movies and has taken over £10 billion worldwide, only surpassed by the

            Marvel

            Cinematic Universe franchise.  

            A range of consumer products, produced by Hasbro under license from Lucasfilm Ltd, are already on sale, with more sure to follow … 

            ‘Jurassic Park’, Universal 

            June 9, 2023, will mark 30 years since the first installment of

            NBCUniversal’s

            Jurassic Park

            ” franchise hit the big screen, it’s U.S premiere following two days later. The fifth movie, “Jurassic World Dominion,” released this summer was the final installment in Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s “

            Jurassic World

            ” trilogy. Naturally, it was accompanied by the launch of the largest global licensing program in the history of the franchise. The franchise as a whole sits 11th on the all-time movie franchise list, taking more than $6 billion at the worldwide box office. 

            In June, License Global explored how “Jurassic World Dominion” and “Top Gun: Maverick” could signal the on-going

            appetite for consumer products stemming from mega-franchise films

            . We also spoke exclusively to Universal Products & Experiences (UP&E) to go

            behind the scenes of the world’s definitive dinosaur brand.

            In that interview, Vince Klaseus, president, Universal Products and Experiences (UP&E), NBCUniversal, said plans were in place to ‘celebrating the film’s 30th anniversary in a big way next year, capitalizing on the nostalgia.’

            ‘Power Rangers’, Hasbro 

            Produced by

            Toei Company

            , the first episode of “Mighty Morphin

            Power Rangers

            ,” debuted 30 years ago, on Aug. 28, 1993. The brand catapulted into popular culture with a line of action figures and other toys by

            Bandai

            . By 2001, the media franchise had generated over $6 billion in toy sales. 

            A

            Hasbro

            fan stream last year revealed the likes of the Dino Fury cast, as well as Yost and Jones, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Cardenas, Karan Ashley and Catherine Sutherland will be returning for the 30th anniversary. 

            1-24-year anniversaries

            ‘Paw Patrol,’ Paramount 

            Spin Master Entertainment

            has announced a series of new “

            Paw Patrol

            ” specials to mark its 10th

            anniversary, while a spin off featuring pup Rubble, entitled “Rubble and Crew,” is also set to premiere in 2023. On the big screen, Nickelodeon and

            Paramount 

            have announced plans a movie sequel, “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” which is due for release in October. The original movie took more than $144 million at the box office and, according to BrandTrends, “Paw Patrol” is the firth most popular license for children aged 0-14.

            Do you have a brand or IP that has an anniversary in 2023? Let us know by dropping an email to

            [email protected]

            .

            Below is a list of all of the 2023 anniversaries, by category. Is your brand missing? Let us know …

            Corporate brand anniversaries  

            Blaupunkt – 99

            Ford – 100

            Harley Davidson – 120 

            Honda – 75 

            Nielsen – 100 

            Entertainment brand anniversaries  

            Hip-Hop – 50 

            Marvel Studios – 30 

            Sony Pictures – 25 

            Tetris – 40

            The Smurfs – 65

            The Walt Disney Company – 100 

            Warner Bros. – 100 

            Fashion and apparel brand anniversaries 

            Tommy Bahama – 30 

            Food and beverage brand anniversaries  

            Kellogg's – 60 

            Kraft – 100

            Morton Salt – 175

            Nerds – 40 

            Nesquik – 75 

            Peeps

            – 70

            Pepsi – 130 

            SweetTarts / Ferrero – 60 

            Heritage brand anniversaries 

            Art Ask Agency – 10 

            Harvard – 115

            Laura Ashley – 70

            London Underground (TfL) – 160 

            London Underground Tube Map (TfL) – 90 

            Van Gogh Museum – 50 

            Literature brand anniversaries  

            National Geographic – 135 

            Beano – 85 

            Flower Fairies, Penguin Venture – 100 

            Horrible Histories, Scholastic Corporation – 30 

            Playboy – 70 

            TIME – 100

            Movie and Television brand anniversaries 

            “Doctor Who,” BBC Studios – 60 

            ‘Jurassic Park,’ Universal – 30 

            ‘Paw Patrol,’ Paramount – 10 

            ‘Power Rangers,’ Hasbro – 30 

            “Return of the Jedi,” LucasFilms – 40 

            The Rocky Horror Show – 50 

            'Sarah & Duck', Karrot Animation – 10

            'Scarface', Universal – 40 

            ‘The Big Lebowski,’ Universal – 35 

            Luxury brand anniversaries  

            Swatch – 40 

            Versace – 45 

            Sports brand anniversaries 

            24 Hours of Le Mans – 100

            NASCAR – 75

            PUMA – 75

            Toys and Games brand anniversaries

            8th Wonder – 25

            Baby Annabell; Zapf Creation – 25

            Canal Toys – 5

            Clementoni – 60

            Commotion Ltd – 40

            Curious Universe – 5

            Great Gizmos – 25

            House of Marbles – 50

            Jazwares U.K. – 10

            Kap Toys – 5

            Kosmos – 200

            Little Live Pets; Moose Toys – 10

            Marvin's Magic – 35

            Matchbox – 70

            Scrabble – 70

            Sequin Art Ltd – 60

            Smart Toys & Games – 30

            Tree Toys Ltd – 35

            Yookidoo – 15

            Do you have a brand or IP that has an anniversary in 2023? Let us know by dropping an email to

            [email protected]

            .

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