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The Influentials 2023

“Disruptors,” “Change Makers,” “Brand Builders” and “Influencers” – The Influentials have returned in force as License Global continues to shine a spotlight on those who have moved the needle within the brand licensing industry.

December 7, 2023

5 Min Read
The License Global Influentials 2023
The Influentials 2023License Global

Each year, License Global seeks insight from its readership base of over 66,000 licensing professionals to determine who will make our shortlist of Influentials, powered by SEGA. Within that outreach was a simple question, “Who will you nominate as an Influential for 2023, and what accolade/category do you believe describes them best?” That survey reached worldwide and bore a (very) long list of innovators and progressive professionals unlike any year before.

The final shortlist of all categories contains exemplary individuals. Leaders who have built a global toy company to such stratospheres that the natural next step was to generate a global craze with their own creation. An organization that has supported and highlighted a community of individuals within one of the world’s largest industries. An individual who has brought some of the most exciting in-person brand experiences to life in a post-lockdown climate. A professional who has helped forge the future of Europe’s biggest licensing trade show from behind the scenes. An industry veteran who used their voice and experience to share vital guidance for future generations. All these achievements were noted alongside individuals behind countless products, businesses and brand innovators that, to put it simply, made for a long and heated selection process.

Related:Leading Licensees 2023

Each of the 45 shortlisted nominees for 2023 is worthy of industry-wide recognition. While the winners are announced below, The Influentials of 2023 are just a fraction of the names that deserve recognition worldwide, but those who stand out in an ocean of talent, to us, are truly remarkable.

This article is just an extract of the full report, taken from License Global’s December 2023 issue, where you can see the full list of nominees, learn what makes an influential and read interviews with the winners.

Click the link at the top of this page to download the Influentials 2023 report in full.

Meet the Influentials 2023

With the nominations finalized, the License Global team and select Global Licensing Group members were tasked with turning 280 nominations into a handful of names and positioning them across nine accolades. Those accolades are as follows:

The Innovator

An individual who has played a vital role in industry advancements, be it sustainable processes, manufacturing, business standards or product design.

Daryl White, executive vice president, global licensing, business development, Falcon’s Beyond

The Change Maker

An individual who has contributed to advancements or created validated internal or product programs that promote and bring permanent change in diversity and inclusion.

James Fielding, president, Archer Gray Co-Lab Group

The Collaborator

An individual who has developed an exceptional brand collaboration and/or cross-category product collaboration program.

Corbin Wallace, chief growth officer, Simple Modern

The Disruptor

An individual who has inspired the licensing community to adopt a new way of business or school of thought.

Matt Proulx, vice president, location-based entertainment, Hasbro

The Newcomer

A newcomer to the business of brand licensing who is at the beginning of their licensing career but already making waves in the industry.

Teresa Curtis, manager, licensing, business development, Jay Franco and Sons

The Expert

An individual who has contributed profoundly to the brand licensing business throughout their storied career.

Simon Philips, president, Falcon’s Beyond

The Brand Builder

The person behind the licensed consumer product who has garnered huge reach, revenue growth and/or ongoing opportunities for the brand/intellectual property.

Molly Robbins, senior vice president, global licensing, business development, U.S. Polo Assn.

The Influencer

An individual who has gone out of their way to better the industry through open-source thinking, editorial contribution, public speaking and mentoring. The Influencer is a voice that carries.

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT)

The License Global Influential 2023

An individual (or individuals) chosen for excellence in all categories or one specific, earth-shattering example of how an individual (or individuals) can create a sea change.

Judd Zebersky, chief executive officer, founder, Jazwares, and Laura Zebersky, president, chief commercial officer, Jazwares

Below are some selected quotes from our winners. To read all of the interviews in full, download the Influentials 2023 report using the link at the bottom of this page.

“People want to be with their favorite brands in whatever they do.” – Daryl White, Falcon’s Beyond.

“Managers and leaders need to build safe, empowering and respectful environments that allow people to bring their best and most authentic self to work.” – James Fielding, Archer Gray Co-Lab Group.

“To continue to move the industry forward, I believe that we need to all work with a high level of passion and hold ourselves to a collective level of excellence.” – Corbin Wallace, Simple Modern.

“Passion comes first in the industry. Putting care and thought into the work you do day in and day out will help bring successful experiences to life.” – Matt Proulx, Hasbro.

“My passion for brand licensing has grown exponentially in the initial years of my career, and I am looking forward to the future.” – Teresa Curtis, Jay Franco and Sons.

“One of the most rewarding aspects is when I see someone with a product that I licensed. This brings home to me how we extend stories and enable fans to own a piece of their favorite IPs.” – Simon Philips, Falcon’s Beyond.

“I’ve started my career over 20 years ago at Levi’s Strauss & Co. and had the good fortune of working with an amazing brand and learning from consummate professionals.” – Molly Robbins, U.S. Polo Assn.

“We will continue to be intentional in our efforts to help build a licensing industry that reflects the diversity and talent of its workforce and promotes a culture of equality and opportunity for all.” – Women in Toys (WiT).

“This year has been a wild ride,” Judd and Laura Zebersky, Jazwares.

This article featured in December's issue of License Global. Read the issue now ...

Click below to Download the Influentials 2023 report.

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