Meet the Licensing International Excellence Awards Nominees – Sports & Collegiate


The 2020 Licensing International Excellence Awards nominees include companies from five countries on three continents. Licenses from the world of entertainment, lifestyle brands, museum collections and corporate trademarks are all included on the list.

Overall, more than 600 entries were received this year from companies in 22 countries and were judged by a panel of 152 executives from 20 nations.

The following are the nominees for Best Licensed Brand – Sports and Collegiate.

Cricket World Cup – International Cricket Council and Velocity Brand Management

Cricket World Cup saw fans from more than 157 countries attend more than 48 matches and 10 warm up matches across 11 venues with cumulative dedicated TV audience of more than 3.74 billion. During the eight-week tournament, 44 merchandise outlets were developed — 23 purpose-built — including the 40-metre merchandise marquee installed on the grounds of the Lord’s Cricket Ground. There were 1,574 SKU lines across 10 competing nations with 177,734 units sold to 103,118 customers. The CWC19 online store launch generated Fanatics’ highest day single-day sales amount generated for an online store launch in the U.K.


The NFLPA is driving innovation via its licensing and marketing arm NFL Players Inc. The NFLPA has generated its sixth successive year of record revenue, surpassing $193 million in 2019. Player-licensed merchandise surpassed $1.65 billion in retail sales across key licensing categories from more than 75 licensees. Anchor licensees, EA SPORTS, Panini America and Fanatics all experienced record-breaking years fueled by NFL players. Multiyear licensing deals and partnerships enhanced the NFLPA as a globally renowned licensor.

U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association – USWNTA and OneTeam Players

In 2019, in its first full year of operation, the USWNTPA’s group licensing program earned $1 million in royalties, fueled by the team’s 2019 World Cup. The program has more than 30 licensees with USWNTPA products across all categories and sales through retailers including Target, Walmart and Fanatics. Global superstars such as Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe are captured on Wheaties boxes, EA video games and Panini trading cards.


WWE parlayed success from years past into another record-breaking year with a first-ever partnership with Topps to add 50 high-end Transcendent collection boxes to their WWE portfolio. Retailing for $15,000, each box contained rare autographed trading cards from the biggest WWE Superstars and Legends including the first-ever autographed trading card from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. The Transcendent set boasted an autographed replica WWE Championship and a WrestleMania 35 experience including tickets to the event and an invitation to a pre-show VIP party at Met Life Stadium.

Click here to learn more about the nominees and Licensing International’s Excellence Awards.

Nickelodeon LatAm, Ganador Bite into ‘Paw Patrol’ Dog Food Deal


Nickelodeon Latin America has partnered with pet food manufacturer Ganador to launch “Pet Patrol”-themed dog food.

The “Paw Patrol” deal will include the licensed branded dog food as well as a series available on YouTube through Sept. that will highlight pet care tips, nutritional facts and more. There will also be in-store displays at grocery and convenience stores throughout Mexico.

Ganador’s partnership announcement comes on the heels of the recently announced “Paw Patrol” film set to debut in August 2021.

HUF, Godzilla Collab on Capsule


HUF has created a capsule collection inspired by Toei’s classic Godzilla character.

The capsule collection includes cut-and-sew, fleece, long and short sleeve tees, socks, a bucket hat, stickers and a skate deck. Highlights of the collection are two resort-inspired button-up resort shirts featuring Godzilla and Mothra, a collectible Godzilla skate deck and a limited-edition vinyl Godzilla figurine in conjunction with Japanese toy brand Medicom.

The all-new HUF vs. Godzilla Collection is now available at  online and at select retailers worldwide.

For HUF, the deal adds to its licened property collections. Late last year, the skate brand teamed with King Features Syndicate and Fleischer Studios for a Betty Boop line.

Aconyte Announce New Marvel Novels


Aconyte has announced the first titles in their upcoming range of Marvel prose novels.
The new range is made up of four strands: Legends of Asgard, Marvel Heroines, Xavier’s Institute and Marvel Untold.

The range will start publishing in fall 2020. Aconyte’s new line was originally announced in 2019.

Licensing International Board Gains Six New Members


Licensing International has announced the induction of six new members onto its board. The following executives have joined:

  • Alan Kravetz, president and chief operating officer, LMCA
  • Vincent Leoni, partner, Miller Kaplan
  • Valerie Mitchell Johnston, vice president and deputy general counsel, Sesame Workshop
  • Roz Nowicki, external vice president, Peanuts Worldwide, a Division of WildBrain
  • Steven Wolfe Pereira, chief executive officer and co-founder, Encantos
  • Miki Yamamoto, senior vice president, IMG

Additionally, Jay Asher, partner, Brandgenuity, was elected as chairperson of the board for a two-year term and Steve Scebelo, vice president, NFLPA was elected as vice chair for a one-year term.
“I’m pleased to welcome the six new members of our Board, whose diverse voices and experience will be invaluable as we look for new, agile ways to serve the members of the global licensing community in these challenging times,” says Maura Regan, president, Licensing International. “I’d also like to thank the outgoing members of our Board for their time and dedication – JJ Ahearn, Cindy Levitt, Marc Mostman, Celso Rafael and Jamie Stevens.”

PBS Kids, Little Free Library Team for Story-Time Summer


In the latest addition to its ongoing “Read-Along” initiative on Facebook and YouTube, PBS Kids has partnered with Little Free Library for a collection of story-time videos designed to encourage reading and togetherness for families.

Through the collaboration, each special guest will read a children’s book and designate a location in the U.S. where a Little Free Library will be installed, complete with a supply of books to make reading together more accessible for families across the U.S. 

PBS KIDS and Little Free Library will kick off these story times on June 29, at 12:00PM ET with NBA Legend and entrepreneur Dwyane Wade, who will read Gabrielle Union’s children’s book, “Welcome to the Party.” 

Other upcoming participants include Camila Alves McConaughey, Tim Gunn, Carla Hall, Anthony Ramos, Marley Dias, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker. Additional special guest readers  will also be added throughout the summer. The story times will feature books with diverse authors and characters, as well as bilingual readings.

To encourage engagement and a love of reading while many families are spending much of their time at home, the ongoing PBS Kids “Read-Along” effort gives kids and parents a place to come together and read-along with fan-favorite books.

Launched in March, PBS KIDS Read-Alongs have featured Michelle Obama, Kristen Bell, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, among others. Each reading is livestreamed simultaneously on PBS Kids’ Facebook  and YouTube channel and remains available for viewing on demand on both platforms immediately following. Companion literacy resources for each “Read-Along” are available on 

Miskatonic Brewing Serves Up Licensed Line of Billy Goat Tavern Beers


The JRL Group has tapped Chicago’s Miskatonic Brewing for a line of Billy Goat Beer inspired by the Billy Goat Tavern & Grill. 

The special recipe IPA and Pilsner beers were created by the team at Miskatonic Brewing and are brewed at the company’s brewery in Darien, Illinois.  Both styles will be served alongside “No Fries, Cheeps!” on tap or in cans at Billy Goat Tavern & Grill locations. Beers will also be available at Pete’s Fresh Market, Woodman’s Food Market and other independent retailers throughout Illinois.

“Creating a line of beers under the Billy Goat Tavern & Grill brand is the definition of a seamless extension,” says Andrew Lieb, president, JRL Group. “Miskatonic Brewing understands the reputation of the culturally-iconic Billy Goat brand, and is both committed and equipped to uphold that reputation through exceptional taste and quality of their Billy Goat IPA and Pilsner.”    


Chupa Chups, Polka Beauty Ink Deal in Indonesia


Polka Cosmetics has announced the launch of a range of Chupa Chups cosmetics.

The collection takes inspiration from the flower power look and psychedelic prints that were characteristic of the sixties fashion scene. It includes several shades of lipstick. The products also come in a nostalgic candy-shaped packaging.

“Polka have truly captured the essence of our bold colors in this range,” says Christine Cool, license manager, Perfetti Van Melle. “We love the playful retro hippy twist they have created of our iconic flower power design and the sense of indulgence that comes with the luscious scents.”

The collection will be for sale on the Polka Cosmetics website, Tokopedia Shopee, the Bukalapak Official Store and Female Daily online marketplace.

"It is a big privilege to collaborate with an established global brand such as Chupa Chups,” says Desty Uwais, chief executive officer, Polka Jelita Indonesia. Not only does it open new opportunities in our business and target market, but also it is consistent with Polka's brand propositions and values.”

The deal adds to the Chupa Chups licensing portfolio. Earlier this year, the confectionary brand teamed with SMYK for an apparel line.


Acamar Films, Trend Media to Bring ‘Bing’ to Netherlands, Belgium


Acamar Films has teamed up with Dutch theatre production company Trend Media to bring its preschool series “Bing” to life on stage in the Netherlands and Belgium for the first time.

The new four-year deal will see a brand-new live theater show launch in autumn 2021. The first season will run through to spring 2022, with two further seasons to follow.

“’Bing’ is going from strength-to-strength in the Netherlands and Belgium, both in consumer products and in building an established loyal audience, so it’s the perfect time to deepen viewers’ engagement through an enthralling live experience,” says Kirsty Southgate, director, promotions and partnerships, Acamar Films. “We are delighted to team up with Trend Media, who are real experts in designing joyful performances for children and look forward to creating something truly special for Bingsters and their families to enjoy.”

Co-produced by Acamar Films and Trend Media, the hour-long interactive musical adventure is designed to appeal to children aged two to five. It aims to immerse them in the world of “Bing” through laughter and music. 

“We have long been a fan of ‘Bing’ and we saw very good opportunities for a ‘Bing’ theatre show in the Netherlands and Belgium,” says Erik van Trommel, chief executive officer, Trend Media. “In recent months we have had many conversations with Acamar Films about how a collaboration and a theater tour would look in these two countries. We are very happy with the result and it is wonderful that both companies share a love for children’s entertainment. We look forward to working with Acamar Films to produce a successful theater tour in the Netherlands and Belgium.”

Confirmed dates and venues for the new live Bing show across the Netherlands and Belgium will be announced later in the year. The live shows follow on the recent announcement that Redan Publishing was launching a monthly “Bing” magazine this July.

License Connection to Rep Paddington in Benelux

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The Copyrights Group has appointed License Connection to represent Paddington Bear in Benelux.

License Connection will represent the Paddington brand across classic, baby, movie and TV for a broad range of products in the region.

“We are very pleased to be working with License Connection on Paddington Bear in the Benelux,” says Franca Bernatavicius, senior international licensing manager, The Copyrights Group. “This is a very exciting time for Paddington, with the rich publishing heritage and the success of the films now paving the way for the upcoming TV series and a new generation of fans across the Benelux.”

The Paddington books were written by Michael Bond and the first volume: “A Bear Called Paddington” was published in 1958. Since then, thirty-five million copies of the Paddington books have been sold worldwide and the series has been translated into more than forty different languages.

Since debuting, the books have been developed into movies, merchandise and more. In 2020, a brand-new Paddington TV series designed for a pre-school audience is launching worldwide on Nickelodeon called “The Adventures of Paddington.”

“We are delighted that The Copyrights Group has appointed License Connection as the Benelux Licensing Agent for Paddington,” says Daphne Kellerman, owner and founder, License Connection. “We see great potential for the brand in the territory because of its heritage and the new adventures that are about to come. It is a well-known brand already globally and we look forward to add partners to create new products, so kids and parents can go on their own journey with Paddington.”