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License This! 2023 open for entries

£7,000 prize as new format sees annual licensing comp judging ahead of BLE event

 

Submissions are now open for the annual Kelvyn Gardner’s License This! competition with a new format which will see the judging take place ahead of Brand Licensing Europe 2023.

That means the three runners up and the winner of the prize worth £7,000 will be announced on stage at BLE ahead of the day one opening keynote on Wednesday, 4 October.

With greeting card publishers having made a big impact on License This! over the years – previous cardie winners include Seedlings Cards & Gifts and Ginger Betty, while Animo and Klara Hawkins both made the 2022 finals – the judges include Danilo licensing director Dan Grant, Moonpig senior design manager Dale Boreham, This Is Iris licensing director Sarah Lawrence, and licensing agent Clare Piggott, md of Larkshead Licensing.

Above: Previous winner Ginger Betty exhibiting at this year’s PG Live
Above: Previous winner Ginger Betty exhibiting at this year’s PG Live

“Kelvyn Gardner License This! is a great way for new brands to get expert support and advice as they look to develop the commercial potential of their new brand,” Clare explained. “As a creative industry it’s important to support the talent of tomorrow – ideas come from many different places, which is what makes this competition so exciting.

“My tip for entrants? Helping the judges by clearly outlining brand ambitions and product plans – this will make an entry stand out. Any new brands out there thinking of entering, put your best licensing foot forward – you never know what might happen!”

Entries to the competition, which has been the springboard for many brands and careers, opened on Wednesday, 12 July, and it’s completely is free to enter – full details can be found here – with a closing date of 28 August at 5pm.

Chairman of the with judging panel this year is Robyn Cowling, Golden Goose licensing consultant and Rocky Horror Show brand director.

She commented: “I’m honoured to be working with such a fantastic cohort of licensing specialists to scout, support and nurture new brand creators. The licensing industry is a truly collaborative world, uniquely combining creativity and commercial endeavours and I’m excited to see what untapped talent lies out there and how we can guide them towards making their ideas into real consumer products programmes.”

Above: The competition is named in memory of long-time organiser and licensing industry legend Kelvyn Gardner
Above: The competition is named in memory of long-time organiser and licensing industry legend Kelvyn Gardner

Organised by BLE, which runs at London’s ExCel over Wednesday to Friday, 4-6 October, and License Global, the competition propels illustrators, publishers, designers and animators with unlicensed brands into the spotlight, helping them break into the lucrative £260billion ($340bn) global brand licensing industry, secure new deals and gain agent representation.

License This! applicants are asked to submit a written overview, video pitch and detailed vision explaining why their brand is suitable for licensing – the video replaces the live pitch which finalists previously gave to judges during the show from which the winners were picked.

This year’s judging panel will review the entries based on their level of ingenuity, licensing potential, alignment with today’s marketplace, and why the brand is unique.

Once entries close on 28 August, the judging will take place ahead of the annual pan-European licensing show, which is run by Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets, then the winner and three runners-up will announced at BLE.

For the winner there is a prize worth over £7,000 in free exposure and promotional support to help develop their brand, including an editorial feature in the BLE 2023 Show Daily; promotional support from BLE and License Global for 12 month; a free turnkey booth and pop-up banner display at BLE 2024; one year Licensing International membership; one-year Products Of Change membership; exclusive interview featured on LicenseGlobal.com; one hour one-on-one mentorship post-event with Robyn Cowling; one hour one-on-one mentorship opportunity with License Global editorial staff; and access to LinkedIn community group of current and past winners.

Above: Last year’s finalist Klara Hawkins (right) gets the thumbs-up from Andrea Pinder, of Presentation Cards & Gifts in Barrowford
Above: Last year’s finalist Klara Hawkins (right) gets the thumbs-up from Andrea Pinder, of Presentation Cards & Gifts in Barrowford

Each of the three runners-up will receive an editorial feature in the BLE Show Daily; pop-up banner display at BLE 2024; one hour mentorship opportunity for finalist group with industry experts; and access to LinkedIn community group of current and past winners.

Alongside Robyn, Dan, Dale, Sarah and Clare, the judging panel also includes Brandgenuity md Teri Niadna; Billy Langsworthy, co-founder, Mojo Nation and Brands Untapped; Natural History Museum head of licensing Maxine Lister; Sabrina Segalov, senior licensing manager, Sanrio Global; Emily Fawcett, head of global licensing, Abysse Corp; Wild In Art co-founder and md Charlie Langhorne; Trademark Products md Phil King, and License Global’s EMEA content director Ben Roberts and senior digital editor UK and EMEA Ian Hart.

License This! 2023 entries are welcome now here, for any questions on the entry proces, please contact event organisers lily.drennan@informa.com or anna.lommatzsch@informa.com. To register to attend or exhibit at BLE 2023 click here.

Top: Last year’s winner and The Spookysaurus author and illustrator Crispin Lowrey (left) and 2022 judges’ chairman and Start Licensing director Ian Downes

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