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License This! winners unveiled

Aniballers takes title as Arrthi Little’s Cheeky Legends brand is shortlisted


Newbie greeting card publisher Arrthi Little has been honoured in the prestigious License This! competition as one of the three shortlisted behind winner Aniballers.

Announced at Brand Licensing Europe on Wednesday, 4 October, Arrthi Little’s Cheeky Legends brand, Steph Coathupe’s Campus To Canvas and Danielle Lambert’s Bobby Hollie joined Aniballers’ founder Matt Wilson on the winners’ podium.

Above & top: Arrthi Little with fellow shortlisters Danielle Lambert (left) and Steph Coathupe, and winner Matt Wilson of Aniballers
Above & top: Arrthi Little with fellow shortlisters Danielle Lambert (left) and Steph Coathupe, and winner Matt Wilson of Aniballers

For the first time the judging took place entirely online with a written overview and video pitch, and the winners were revealed during BLE’s first day at London’s ExCeL in the opening keynote session, with the Kelvyn Gardner License This! awards aimed at helping newbies break into the lucrative £260billion ($340bn) global brand licensing industry with an unlicensed brand, secure new deals and gain agent representation.

The top prize, worth over £7,000 in exposure and promotional support including a stand at BLE 2024 and a year with sustainability membership hub Products Of Change, went to Aniballers, a football training adventure for kids, which features six animated characters in a colourful world on a gamified training journey.

Aniballers’ founder Matt Wilson, who came up with the idea with daughter Veda during lockdown, said: “In a world where childhood mental and physical health problems are common, we believe the first five years of life are a window of opportunity to establish the foundations of a love for sports and active play.  Aniballers is a magical world designed to help parents introduce and engage their kids with active play.

Above: The Cheeky Legends branding is already in place
Above: The Cheeky Legends branding is already in place

“We have a portfolio of digital and physical products in mind that all point toward encouraging and rewarding active play. Winning the Kelvyn Gardner License This! Award will help us develop a dialogue with new partners who can help us to help families over the world to raise healthy, active kids.”

Arrthi, who showed her cute and cheeky humour cards at PG Live in June for the first time and is set to return for the 2024 edition of the show, and her fellow shortlisted brands will each receive an editorial feature in the BLE Show daily, a pop-up banner display at the fair next year, one-hour finalists’ group mentorship with industry experts, and access to a LinkedIn community group of current and past winners.

“Being a finalist was huge!” Arrthi told PG Buzz. “After starting my quest at PG Live earlier this year with a response far better than I expected, my confidence in Cheeky Legends has grown and grown. Making it through to the finals has cemented my brand ambitions.

“I was overjoyed when people started recognising me as a finalist on stage and spoke to me afterwards saying how much they loved Cheeky Legends – even quoting particular designs and desperate to see more!

“The show was fantastic. I spent the day making excellent new connections and I could sense the relief that a new humorous feel-good brand was starting to emerge.”

She has already set up a new Instagram account for the brand and is gearing up for the festive season with the launch of hilariously-cute designs at several Christmas markets in Hampshire.

Above: New festive designs are about to be released and Cheeky Legends will be back at PG Live
Above: New festive designs are about to be released and Cheeky Legends will be back at PG Live

Greeting card publishers have 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 – and the judges included 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.

“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.

Today, 6 October, is the final day of BLE 2023 at London’s ExCeL. For more details click here.

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