License This! Names Panel

Brand Licensing Europe has unveiled the judging panel for this year’s License This! challenge for new creative concepts.

Now in its fifth year, the competition is open to any new artwork, brand or character that has no merchandising deals already in place or pending. Submissions are due by Sept. 5.

Ian Downes, director of Start Licensing, will chair the panel of judges. He is joined by Paul Bufton, vice president of consumer products licensing and retail EMEA at Rovio Entertainment; Richard Haines, acquisitions and new business manager for Penguin Children's at Penguin Random House; and John Carolan, head of buying for childrenswear at Sainsbury’s Supermarkets. ?

“New licensed properties are the lifeblood of the industry," says Downes. "It is essential that new properties have an opportunity to shine to ensure continued growth and to stimulate new product development. Therefore, I am delighted to chair License This! It’s a great springboard for new properties, and a fabulous opportunity for creators to get a foothold in the licensing market. I’m looking forward to reviewing some of the best ideas in the industry.”

The judges will select a shortlist of four entries that will be pitched to them in front of a live audience at BLE on Oct. 9. The winner will receive a fully furnished stand at Brand Licensing Europe 2015, worth £4,500, so that the new property can be brought back to market next year.

Last year’s winner was Mr. Trafalgar, a whimsical rodent drawn in black and white silhouette. The property will be on display at this year’s BLE. Since winning, property owner Bella Binus and creator Jamie Patterson have been working with TaylorHe on a range of products including iPhone/iPad covers, mug and coaster sets, cushions and clocks. Other past winners and finalists have gone on to sign deals in the gifts, apparel, homewares and stationery categories as a result of the show.

Property creators/owners can submit their brand to be part of License This! by completing the entry form at before Sept. 5.

Brand Licensing Europe will take place Oct. 7-9 at London’s Olympia exhibition hall.