BLE 2021 brings Licensing International’s Licensing U to European audiences for the first time

Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International, is launching Licensing U for Europe, a ‘one-stop-shop’ education programme about the $292bn licensing industry for newcomers and experienced professionals.

Licensing U will take on a fully virtual format with the content being available to view on demand for three months from 22 November 2021 allowing delegates to engage with and return to the content at a time that best suits them. Early bird discounts are available from now until 8 October.

The content, which has proved to be a popular staple of Licensing Expo’s programme over the past few years, will bring the same three tracks to its UK debut in November, offering insight into the topics and trends impacting the brand licensing universe.

Topics range from the ‘Basics of international licensing’ and ‘What you need to know about royalty rates’, to ‘Working with agents and consultants’.

The three content tracks are:

  1. Basics of Licensing: Designed for licensing newcomers and those interested in learning more about the industry, Licensing U’s ‘Basics’ track offers an introduction to how the licensing business works, contracts and other legal basics, royalty rates, style guides, retail development and more.
  2. Spotlights: Licensing professionals are invited to take a deeper dive into key industry segments with Licensing U’s ‘Spotlights’. The sessions will focus on specific areas such as art and design, corporate brands, celebrities and influencers, sports, entertainment, collaborations, and location-based entertainment.
  3. Tactics and Strategies: Aimed at the more seasoned licensing professionals, Licensing U’s ‘Tactics and Strategies’ track features more advanced sessions and will tackle some of the latest topics and trends impacting today’s licensing industry, including eSports, NFTs and more.

Anna Knight, VP of Licensing, Informa Markets, said: “It is always a pleasure to partner with Licensing International and we are thrilled to bring Licensing U to European delegates this November. It is such a distinctive time for our industry when continued education is paramount, providing much-needed refresher courses for practiced professionals and serving as a gateway into the exciting world of licensing for those starting their journey.”

Maura Regan, President, Licensing International, added: “Licensing U has been the content cornerstone of Licensing Expo and we are excited to bring this programming to BLE. Relevant, timely information sessions combined with recognised industry leaders offer resources to help licensing professionals at all levels of their careers. Licensing U is a trusted resource designed to serve the licensing industry.”

Attendees can take advantage of the early bird discount by booking before October 8. Licensing International members benefit from an additional 10 per cent discount.

Crayola and OceanX | “We’re encouraging partnerships to have a profound impact on supporting our planet”

The global non-profit ocean exploration organisation, OceanX has expressed its hope that its new partnership with the children’s arts and crafts brand, Crayola, will inspire more collaboration between brands and conservation groups.

The pair joined forces earlier this month to launch a new range of crafts kits to the US market, each designed to educate and inspire the next generation of ocean explorers and conservationists by blending hands-on creativity with a digital experience.

Titled The Crayola Experience Home Adventure Ocean Edition, the kits aim to ‘bring the wonder of the sea into homes across the US,’ by guiding children through a learning experience spanning the five layers of the ocean. Crayon characters will take them on their journey as they create a series of crafts inspired by sea creatures.

The education experience will also engage kids with its interactive video content, featuring nine activities including a drawing tutorial led by a Crayola designer.

Mark Dalio, founder and creative director at OceanX, told that the hope is the partnership between the two will “encourage other companies and organisations to think about how they can creatively collaborate” to “have a profound impact on supporting our planet.”

He said: “This partnership exists at the intersection of Crayola’s creativity and youthfulness and OceanX’s mission to share the wonder and beauty of the ocean with the world. It’s always been our goal to put audiences in the front seat of exploration, and partnering with Crayola will help us spark a lifetime of interest, curiosity, and love for the ocean.

“Crayola is one of the world’s most renowned family brands, trusted by parents and educators everywhere to use its signature thoughtful, colourful creativity to educate and inspire children.

“This partnership illustrates Crayola’s role in highlighting important issues facing our society while also inspiring the next generation to be stewards of our planet’s most treasured natural resource.”

Designed to inspire environmentalism and conservation, the Crayloa and OceanX collaboration has also launched an immersive experience across the Crayola brand’s own physical Experience attractions in the US.

The message, says Crayola’s executive vice president and general manager of Crayola Attractions and Retail, Victoria Lozano, is “consistent and congruous” with the brand’s mission to “help parents and educators raise creatively alive kids and inspire the next generation.”

Lozano told “This includes teaching them to preserve the world in which they will live in as adults. Our partnership with OceanX will help us create content and engaging experiences to accomplish that through cultivating a sense of wonder for the mysterious playground of the deep blue.

“This partnership will continue to develop creativity products and educational content to bring to kids everywhere.”

Random House Children’s Books to launch Dr Seuss Workbook series for US schoolchildren

Random House Children’s Books has partnered with Dr Seuss Enterprises to launch multi-subject Dr Seuss Workbooks across the US. The new format book series will be aimed at preschool kids through to third grade, encouraging readers to interact with their favourite characters while supporting learning goals.

The deal has been announced by Barbara Marcus, president and publisher, Random House Children’s Books, and Tom Russell, vice president and publisher, reference and workbooks. The first two editions – Preschool and Kindergarten – will be launched on September 7th this year. The remaining three will follow next March.

The launch of the books will also be supported by a video series hosted on Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ YouTube channel, featuring fun, original sing-alongs to help readers further engage with the characters and subject matter.

“In the last year, we have seen such increased demand for learning resources, and so we are particularly pleased to bring the Dr. Seuss Workbooks to market and offer fresh, engaging content to support young learners today,” said Russell. “These workbooks provide parents and educators an accessible blend of core academic concepts and such equally important topics as kindness, empathy, and self-esteem.”

The workbooks have been developed and written by education experts and based on curriculum standards, and readers at every grade level will be introduced to four subjects, each with their own dedicated Seuss character ambassador guiding the way: Reading and English Language Learning with the Cat from The Cat in the Hat, Maths with Thing One and Thing Two from The Cat in the Hat, Science with the Lorax from The Lorax, and Social and Emotional Learning with Horton from Horton Hears a Who!

Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, said: “The imaginative works of Dr. Seuss have been an entry point to the world of reading and learning for several generations. For years Dr. Seuss books have delighted children while helping them learn to read and develop their cognitive skills.

“This new workbook program and its supporting video content are a natural progression that make it even easier for kids to learn, with fun exercises and engaging lessons that help them hone new skills.”

Non-fiction publisher DK partners with Mrs Wordsmith for series of kids’ learning books

The illustrated non-fiction global publisher, DK has embarked on a new partnership with the learning company, Mrs Wordsmith with a new series of curriculum-based titles, featuring captivating illustrations and learning materials.

The new collection will launch this August with the aim of making learning fun, engaging, and accessible for kids, with materials based on scientific research and proven teaching methods.

The collection has been designed to improve the reading and writing outcomes of children aged four to 11 by building vocabulary, strengthening reading comprehension and helping with every aspect of the English curriculum, from phonics for early learners to spelling and grammar for years one to six. 

Mark Searle, publishing director, DK Licensing, said: “I am incredibly proud to be partnering with Mrs Wordsmith, the global pioneers of educational vocabulary content; their combination of loveable characters and highly credentialed pedagogy makes this publishing programme truly unique.

“As a parent of school-age children, I know how hard it can be to capture their attention and inspire a love of learning. Working together with Mrs Wordsmith, we can strengthen our mission to make learning fun; this new range of educational books and games is perfect for curious learners of any age.” 

Nick Perrett, CEO, Mrs Wordsmith, added: “Everyone at Mrs Wordsmith is absolutely thrilled to begin this partnership with DK, one of the world’s largest and most respected publishers. I can’t think of anyone better placed to help us inspire kids everywhere to read, write, and create, and to help spread our love of literacy around the world.

“We’re still a young, eager company with lots to learn and with DK by our side, I’m confident that we’ll be learning from the best.” 

DK will publish all of Mrs Wordsmith’s printed products worldwide and in all languages, with six titles first publishing in the UK in August 2021, including workbooks and original formats, plus a family card game and more to follow in 2022. This new programme will provide a complete offering for English learning.

Angry Birds flocks to game-based learning platform Kahoot! to raise environmental awareness

Angry Birds is flocking to the game-based learning platform Kahoot! to launch a series of unique quizzes each aimed at encouraging children and their environmental awareness education. The move is the latest from Rovio to continue its fight for better understanding around climate change and environmental science.

Currently in its pilot test phase, the quizzes will see Red and friends challenge Kahoot! users on subjects like deforestation, biodiversity and carbon footprint, as well as their effects on the earth’s ecosystems.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Kahoot! to bring an Angry Birds flair to their educational games,” said Stephen Porter, brand director at Rovio Entertainment. “Environmental education and climate change awareness are extremely important and pressing topics for Rovio, and Kahoot!’s massive audience gives us a fantastic opportunity to contribute in these areas.”

Craig Narveson, director of strategic partnerships at Kahoot, added: “We at Kahoot! are passionate about making the world a better place by bringing learning to life with fun and play, so joining forces with Angry Birds to make learning about climate change more engaging is an awesome fit.

“Climate change can be an overwhelming subject, especially for young learners. We’re excited to be working together with Angry Birds to introduce climate science in a fresh and interactive way, which learners of all ages can enjoy whether they’re in the classroom or at home.”

The Kahoot! partnership reinforces Rovio’s support for global education, building on a previous alliance with UNICEF Finland to support UNICEF’s global education work. Rovio was the first partner in the Staff for UNICEF program, an impactful donation model which raises money towards UNICEF’s education program across the world, and also supported adolescent women through UNICEF’s Salmaïtou Senegal Project.

The campaign is also the next step in Rovio’s commitment to green initiatives, which ranges from raising awareness for environmental issues with in-game events to offsetting the impact of players’ devices.

DC Thomson partners with Discovery Inc to launch Animal Planet educational children’s magazine

DC Thomson has partnered with Discovery Inc to launch a new educational children’s magazine called Animal Planet. The new title will build on Animal Planet’s goal of creating content with global appeal and to keep alive the childhood joy and wonder of animals.

Animal Planet is a brand already known for combining content that explores the bonds forged between animals and humans, and is currently available on screens around the world in more than 205 countries. Through the new Animal Planet magazine, young animal lovers will be able to find information on exotic animals and natural beauty.

Exclusive to Animal Planet magazine, kids can join the #PlanetWarriors club which offers the chance to review books, complete challenges and send in their content to feature in future issues.

Animal Planet also has an exclusive panel of experts who will answer questions from inquisitive readers. Dr Jess French, Michaela Strachan, Ben Fogle and Ellie Harrison will feature every issue, tackling questions submitted by Animal Planet’s #PlanetWarriors. These experts feature alongside Animal Planet’s beloved family, The Irwins, from the channel’s ‘Crikey! It’s The Irwins’.

The launch coincides with children and young people becoming increasingly more engaged in planet earth, its inhabitants and environmental issues. Aimed at seven to 12 year-olds, the monthly magazine will encourage kids to discover a world of big ideas, get involved and be inspired and informed.

DC Thomson Media is one of the UK’s leading media creators, with a number of diverse and successful children’s brands already part of its stable, such as Beano, Animals and You and The Official Jacqueline Wilson magazine.

Maria Welch, head of magazine publishing at DC Thomson Media, said: “We’re delighted to launch Animal Planet in partnership with Discovery. The content is perfect for kids who have a keen interest in the wonders of our planet and Animal Planet promises to be an educational and fun addition to the kids’ magazine market.

“DC Thomson Media has a long and successful history in children’s magazine publishing and the team behind this brand-new launch have brought all of this passion and expertise to Animal Planet.”

Joshua Hearn, licensing and marketing coordinator at Discovery, Inc., added: “In what has been over a year of collaboration, I am truly excited for the launch of our new Animal Planet Magazine. I look forward to developing the inspiring content you will find inside every issue and for our readers to engage with the visually diverse and factual information included.”

Charlotte Payne, international marketing and strategy director at Discovery, Inc., said: “For me, the collaboration with DC Thomson is going to enable us to bring the Animal Planet brand to life beyond the screen, inspiring children of all ages to experience the wonder and joy of the animal kingdom, all while maintaining sustainability through the magazine’s printing and packaging.”