Diversity and innovation celebrated as Licensing Expo Virtual’s License This! crowns its 2021 winners

An animated brand with diversity at its centre, a refillable snack jar, and a children’s animation that brings African and African American culture to the super hero sector have each been named the winners of the inaugural US version of the popular License This! competition.

Held during this past week’s Licensing Expo Virtual – which ran from August 24th to 26th – License This! in partnership with InventHelp, is a global competition that culminated at the online trade event, by providing select illustrators, designers, animators, and product inventors the chance to pitch their concepts to a panel of expert judges.

Spanning three categories in its online format, including Character and Animation, Brand and Design, and Innovations and Product Innovation, the live finale is now available to watch via the Licensing Expo Virtual platform. It witnessed finalists making their pitch to a panel of licensing experts, who then deliberated over this year’s winners.

a staple of London’s Brand Licensing Europe trade show, this marks the first time that the License This! competition has been held for the US licensing industry.

The winners of the inaugural US version of the License This! competition, are:

License This! Character & Animation winners:

  • Emily Blumenthal & Lindsay Kaye Lippman, The Charmsters, a diversity-based animation brand. 

License This! Brand & Design winner:

License This! Innovations & Product Innovation winner:

The License This! competition’s 2021 judging panel comprised of 18 senior executives from every corner of the industry, including Bioworld Merchandising, Boat Rocker Studio, Crayola, FYE, Hallmark, Licensing International, Lisa Mark Associates, Product Counsel, PowerStation Studios and Redbubble, in addition to partner InventHelp and official sponsor WestEnd Software.

“We at the Goodie Jar are excited to have been chosen as a License This! winner,” said Lawrence Canada, The Goodie Jar. “This is a dream coming to fruition. We look forward to the opportunities and experiences that accompany this accomplishment at Licensing Expo.”

Fellow License This! winner Xavier Smith, added: “Winning License This! is an exciting and epic opportunity for The Kujifunza Kids brand and the II Tribes Entertainment family! We look forward to all opportunities from this wonderful experience.”

Finally, founder Emily Blumenthal, and creative director Lindsay Kaye Lippman, of Kanvas Brands, said: “We are excited to win the Character & Animation category for the License This! Competition. We believe this will bring awareness and opportunities to The Charmsters, a diversity-based animation brand rooted in joy, inclusivity and girl empowerment.

“We are grateful to the industry for giving us this platform to introduce our mission and female founded brand and look forward to what happens next.”

This year’s License This! winners receiveone-to-one consultation with members of the judging panel and competition sponsor WestEnd Software, free-of-charge turnkey booth at Licensing Expo 2022, one-year Licensing International membership, one-year Products of Change membership and – exclusively to the winner of the ‘Inventions & Product Innovations’ category – one-to-one consultation with InventHelp.

“I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this year’s panel,” said Steven Ekstract, managing director of Global Licensing Advisors and Chair of the License This! Judges. “We are really excited to announce the winners and wish them all the very best of luck.”

Brand Licensing Europe’s (BLE) popular License This! competition, which has been running for over a decade, is now open for entries and announces a new third award category, the Inventions & Product Innovations category.

PlayMonster, LEGO, and Crayola among 2021 Licensing International Excellence Awards winners

PlayMonster, LEGO, Crayola, and Hasbro have all been named among the winners of the 2021 Licensing International Excellence Awards at a ceremony held via a virtual gathering during this week’s Licensing Expo Virtual.

Big name toy companies featured among the 22 award winners from seven different countries, including China, Finland, France, Japan, Singapore, the UK, and the US at the event that brought together nearly 1,000 industry executives.

The winners were whittled down from a total of 152 nominees – itself a shortlist of finalists from more than 650 entries from around the world. An elite judging panel narrowed the entries down to the final ballot, which was then voted on by members of the licensing industry.

PlayMonster secured its win in the Toys, Games, Novelties for ages 0 to 8 category, receiving its accolade for its popular Peppa Pig Grow and Play Peppa Pots, while LEGO secured its Toys, Games, Novelties for ages 8 upwards category win for its Andy Warhol LEGO Art Edition.

Hasbro took home the Entertainment, Character Brand: Animated category win for Peppa Pig, and Crayola was voted Best Licensed Collaboration in its tie up with Adidas and Donovan Mitchell.

The Licensing International Excellence Awards honour innovation and creativity in licensing, as well as how licensees develop and bring to market products, and how retailers creatively spotlight licenses on their shelves. A special award this year – Pandemic Pivot – went to Peanuts Worldwide to honour its work in developing and making available for free in-home educational materials and lesson plans.

“In our 36th year of honoring the best of the global licensing industry, it’s inspiring to see the quality of the work produced by people and companies even as they were adapting to new ways of creating and collaborating amid the effects of the pandemic,” said Maura Regan, president, Licensing International.

“The achievements that we honor today are testament to the power of brands, and the power of licensing as a business to create products and programs with lasting appeal.”

Here are the 2021 Licensing International Excellence Awards winners:

Best Licensed Products

⦁ Apparel / Footwear / Accessories – Dr. Martens for Jean-Michel Basquiat Boots
⦁ Appliance / Automotive / Housewares / Electronics – Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software Co. for Pokémon Travel
⦁ Toys / Games / Novelties for Ages 0 – 8 – PlayMonster for Peppa Pig Grow & Play Peppa Pots
⦁ Apps / Sofware / Video Games – Top Golf for Angry Birds Interactive Golf Game
⦁ Food / Beverage – Kinnerton Confectionery for Harry Potter Chocolate Range
⦁ Health and Beauty Aids – Mad Beauty for Friends Bath & Body Essentials
⦁ Home Decor – Secret Lab for Batman Gaming Chairs
⦁ Publishing / Back to School – Chronicle Books for LEGO Note Brick
⦁ Toys/ Games/ Novelties for ages 8 upwards – LEGO for Andy Warhol LEGO Art Edition

Best Licensed Brands
⦁ Art/ Design/ Celebrity/ Fashion Brand – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle Studio
⦁ Digital App/ Video Game Brand – Super Mario by Nintendo
⦁ Corporate Brand – Goodyear by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and IMG
⦁ Entertainment/ Character Brand: Animated – Peppa Pig by Hasbro & Hasbro China
⦁ Entertainment/ Character Brand: Live-Action – Harry Potter by Warner Bros. France
⦁ Food/ Beverage/ Restaurant Brand – Coca-Cola, Hi-C & Sprite by The Coca-Cola Company
⦁ Sports/ Collegiate Brand – NFLPA by NFL Players Association

⦁ BEST LICENSED PROMOTION – Direct Line & Born Licensing for “We’re On It” with Transformers, TMNT & Robocop
⦁ BEST LICENSED COLLABORATION – Crayola x Adidas x Donovan Mitchell
⦁ THE PANDEMIC PIVOT AWARD – Peanuts At-Home-Offerings by Peanuts Worldwide


Licensing Expo Virtual’s On Demand Content goes live ahead of show’s launch next week

The on-demand content surrounding this year’s Licensing Expo Virtual has now gone live, with the show scheduled to take place only one week from now, when it will play host to some 3,000 confirmed digital meetings.

Slated to take place from August 24th to 26th and produced in partnership with the industry trade association, Licensing International, the latest exhibitors at the virtual event have also been confirmed, with the likes of Global Icons and Sportgear joining a line-up featuring ViacomCBS, Tokidoki, Crayola, Games Workshop, WWE, Activision, Warner Bros, and more.

Among the thousands of attending companies taking advantage of Licensing Expo Virtual’s rich content and networking offerings include Amazon, Bioworld Merchandising, Hot Topic, J&J, Microsoft, pocket.watch, PopSocket, Primark, Ross, rue21, Toys R Us, and Walmart.

Those interested in attending the virtual event can register here free of charge to schedule meetings with the world’s leading IP owners and sift through thousands of available IPs that are ripe for license.

“In addition to Licensing Expo Virtual’s endless networking opportunities, we are immensely proud to produce world-class education in partnership with Licensing International,” said Anna Knight, VP of Licensing.

“All on-demand sessions will be going live in the platform from Monday to give attendees the chance to enjoy some of the content ahead of the live event, understand the latest trends, and enjoy the Licensing U program in preparation.

“We are also thrilled to share the highly impressive lineup of live speakers that are a part of the all-new Retail ‘Ask Me Anything’ program, Digital Brand Roadshows, Live Keynotes, Licensing International Excellence Awards and new Sustainability Clinics – speakers, exhibitors and attendees alike are all eager to leverage the upcoming Expo as a platform to explore the many challenges we as an industry have faced over the past 18 months and provide expert-led direction on the new opportunities that have emerged as a result of adversity.”

Designed to serve the critical retail segment that fuels the $292.8 billion in sales of licensed merchandise, Licensing Expo Virtual launched a new ‘Ask Me Anything’ program to help retailers make the most of the opportunities that licensing can offer.

From creating unique product ranges to building a more substantial experience in-store, licensing can help retailers stand out amongst competitors. Key sessions include:

Retail – ‘Ask Me Anything’ live sessions

Ask a range of licensing experts ANYTHING about brand licensing & retail. All questions can be submitted anonymously and will be answered during live sessions at the event – registered attendees can add them to their diary from today.

Session one speakers include experts from Brand Liaison, ACI Licensing, pocket.watch, and License Global

Session two speakers include experts from Retail Monster, IT’SUGAR, and License Global

Retail sessions on demand (available to watch from today)

Licensing as a tool for growth and customer engagement in retail

This session, presented by Julia Redman, Buyer and Consultant at Buyers Eye, will cover what to consider when bringing licensing into retail and how a well-thought-through licensing strategy can enhance your engagement with the customer. As with any business strategy, if you are going to embark on including licensing in your plans, you must consider and pre-empt both the benefits and the possible pitfalls to ensure that you create a clear path to success. We will try and help you create that path.

The Experience Economy – from pause to fast-forward

As kids, parents, and families continuously change the way they work, learn, shop, and relax – it’s more important than ever to understand their attitudes, behaviors, and consumption patterns in real-time. In this session, Jonathan Watson, CPO at The Insights Family, highlights some popular properties, brands, and categories emerging as the world reopens. We’ll also be discussing the growing trend for the ‘Experience Economy.’ Our recent data shows that some of the most important values parents look to instill in their children is value experiences more than products. The session will explore how retailers can think of licensing from a more strategic approach, creating partnerships that provide more value and long-term retention.

Wayfair’s sustained growth powered by a customer-centric vision and focus on execution

In this session, Ankit Mangal, Director at Wayfair, will speak to Wayfair’s recent growth and how it will sustain itself in coming years due to its customer-centric vision that manifests in different facets of the organization and focus on flawless execution to continue to increase share in a highly fragmented market that’s everything home.

Complementing consumer trends that are turning toward sustainability, Licensing Expo Virtual rolled out all-new Sustainability Clinics, in partnership with Products of Change, providing attendees access to renowned experts who are eager to share advice on developing eco-friendly business practices.

“The Sustainability Clinics are an important addition to this year’s event, as they offer attendees real-world advice on how to navigate this continuing trend,” remarked Knight. “According to a recent report by Nielsen, the U.S. sustainability market is projected to reach $150 billion by the end of the year – those are figures retailers, and IP owners need to pay attention to.”

See below for a snapshot of participants confirmed for the Sustainability Clinics:

  • Andrea Green, Principle, Globally Green Consulting
  • Brenda Seto, Ambassador for Canada
  • June Kirkwood, Director, Nutmeg Licensing
  • Carrie Lomas, CEO, Brand Conscience
  • Leonora Aixas Otero, Ambassador for Spain

Sustainability clinics are now available to book – registered delegates can visit the Products of Change virtual book and book their meetings with the experts listed above.

To view the full 2021 Licensing Expo Virtual agenda, find out about the Keynotes, Licensing International Excellence Awards, License This! Finale, Digital Brand Roadshows, and more details on the above sessions, visit here

Educational offerings and meetings are available exclusively to Licensing Expo Virtual attendees;  register for free now to pre-book meetings and access this content at the event.

Press interested in attending the event can secure credentials here.

The Licensing International Excellence Awards prepare for Licensing Expo Virtual live stream ceremony

The Licensing International Excellence Awards will be returning to Licensing Expo this year, albeit in a virtual format, as the ceremony makes its preparations to live stream on Day One of Licensing Expo Virtual this August 24th to 26th.

The annual award programme will once again honour a list of nominees and reveal the 2021 winners across its 22 categories, whittling down the record-setting number of finalists from the more than 150 nominees across 23 countries. The live broadcast will take place on the Licensing Expo Virtual platform and is available exclusively to event attendees.

Register here for the event and ceremony free of charge.

Scheduled for August 24 at 9:00 a.m. PST/12:00 p.m. EDT, the live ceremony is designed to celebrate a world-class group of licensing professionals, IP owners, agencies, retailers, and more, for their creativity and dedication to the pursuit of advancing the brand licensing industry.

“In a year where stay-at-home restrictions radically disrupted societal behavior, a selection of standout professionals and companies helped the industry navigate these uncharted waters through strategic licensing initiatives – many of which are nominated for this year’s Licensing International Excellence Awards,” said Maura Regan, president of Licensing International.

“Each and every one of this year’s nominees have played a part in reimagining the brand to consumer relationship, changes that will have a positive impact on the outlook of our industry. We look forward to celebrating these successes during the award ceremony during Licensing Expo Virtual.”

Anna Knight, VP of Licensing, Informa Markets, added: “Licensing Expo is about bringing the global licensing community together, a sentiment that really strikes home as we’ve all had to face unique challenges and think outside the box, more so than ever before.

“We are proud to partner with Licensing International and host the Excellence Awards ceremony on the first day of this year’s event to pause and applaud so many individual’s and company’s continued perseverance and inflow of creative ideas that kept our industry’s momentum going.”

The Licensing International Excellence Awards categories include:

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Apparel / Footwear / Accessories
Presented by WildBrain CPLG

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Appliances/Automotive/Electronics/Housewares/Paint
Presented by ViacomCBS

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Digital: Apps / Software / Video Games
Presented by WildBrain – emojitown

Presented by LI Accelerator Recipients Bedrock Collectibles, Holy Joe, LIBREX, Park Star Media & Somos Arte

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Health & Beauty Aids
Presented by WildBrain – Teletubbies

Presented by InSpirit Designs

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Publishing / Social Expression / Back-to-School
Presented by ViacomCBS

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Toys / Games / Novelties / Role Play (ages 0-8)
Presented by Alifish

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Toys / Games / Novelties / Role Play (ages 8+)
Presented by InSpirit Designs

Presented by Bedrock Collectibles, Holy Joe, LIBREX, Park Star Media & Somos Arte

Presented by ViacomCBS

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Digital: Apps & Video Games
Presented by InSpirit Designs

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Entertainment / Character / Toy Brand – Animated
Presented by Alifish

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Entertainment / Character – Live Action
Presented by InSpirit Designs

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Food / Beverage / Restaurant Brand
Presented by WildBrain CPLG Lifestyle

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Lifestyle: Art / Design / Celebrity / Fashion Brand
Presented by Bedrock Collectibles, Holy Joe, LIBREX, Park Star Media & Somos Arte

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Sports / Collegiate
Presented by ViacomCBS

Presented by Alifish

Presented by WildBrain CPLG – Peanuts Worldwide

BEST RETAILER – Corporate / Lifestyle / Fashion / Sports
Presented by Alifish

BEST RETAILER – Entertainment / Character
Presented by Bedrock Collectibles, Holy Joe, LIBREX, Park Star Media & Somos Arte

Presented by ViacomCBS

 To view the full Licensing International Excellence Awards nominee list, visit here.

Mattel’s Richard Dickson and Roz Nowicki to deliver keynote at Licensing Expo Virtual

Mattel’s president and COO, Richard Dickson and the firm’s head of global consumer products and franchise marketing, Roz Nowicki will be taking to the stage at the upcoming Licensing Expo Virtual next month, when the pair deliver the online conference’s Day Three Keynote address.

In a fireside chat titled Mattel and Living its Brand Purpose, the pair will explore how the IP driven toys and entertainment company empowers the next generation by introducing purpose-driven products from its portfolio of brands. You can sign up for the free-to-attend keynote presentation here.

Joining senior executives from Warner Bros. Consumer Products, who will open the event as keynote speakers on Day One, Dickson and Nowicki will address the event’s thousands of attendees confirmed to date, who will get an inside look into building and progressing the toy giant’s brand purpose.

Attendees of the event – running from August 24th to 26th – will benefit from the duo’s combined experience that exceeds 50 years of leading brand and innovation strategy, design and development, and franchise marketing. They are responsible for the worldwide growth of brands including Barbie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Peanuts, Hot Wheels, among many others.

The keynote presentation will begin at 8:00 a.m. PST/11:00 a.m. EST, followed by a final day of live content including the new Digital Brand Roadshows, Retail and Sustainability Clinics, industry networking, and many meeting opportunities with hundreds of leading brand owners.

“Year after year, Mattel is an industry leader in delivering new products that not only excite consumers but bring characters and stories to life in a meaningful way,” said Anna Knight, VP of licensing at Informa Markets.

“We are thrilled to announce that Richard and Roz will impart learnings from their work that spans a full range of toy and entertainment brands across categories.”

Mattel’s president and chief operating officer, Richard Dickson, added: “We are proud to represent Mattel at the upcoming Licensing Expo Virtual event this August and speak to a topic that is foundational to our business: delivering purpose-driven products that help shape how children perceive, engage with, and someday, influence the world around them.

“Licensing is a powerful tool that enables us to build brand stories and reach a global audience – Roz and I could not be more excited to share our learnings that attendees can incorporate into their work.”

In addition to announcing the Day Three keynote, Licensing Expo Virtual has also revealed a selection of exhibitors participating in the all-new Digital Brands Roadshows, a collection of curated exhibitor case studies designed to spotlight compelling brands and IP broadcast live at the live event.

Among those participating are:

  • New Exhibitors to the Event with Chan-Chan, Playlife Media, Piney: The Lonesome Pine and Boat Rocker
  • Heritage & Nostalgia with MGM and Art Brand Studios
  • Licensing Around the World with Wildbrain CPLG and Yale University
  • The Live Experience with Penske and Nickelodeon
  • Animation & Anime with Viz Media

Licensing Expo Virtual also confirmed some of the experts as part of the exclusive retail program, composed of ‘Ask me Anything’ live Q&As and sessions on how brand licensing can support retail businesses.

Speakers for this program include Steven Heller, founder of The Brand Liaison; Andrew Cohan, co-founder/co-CEO, ACI Licensing; Sharon Weisman, CEO, Power Station Studios; Michael Connolly, founder & CEO, Retail Monster; Julia Redman, Retail Expert, Buyers Eye; Ankit Mangal, Director, Wayfair; The Insights Family.

License This! reveals senior exec judging panel with Crayola, Bioworld, and PowerStation Studios among panel

Global Licensing Group and Licensing International have revealed the full line-up of judges to be presiding over this year’s License This! as the competition prepares to make its US market debut at Licensing Expo Virtual next month.

A list of 18 senior executives from all corners of the licensing industry make up this year’s panel, including those from world-renowned companies and licensing agencies, such as Bioworld Merchandising, Boat Rocker Studio, Crayola, Hallmark, PowerStation Studios, Redbubble and more.

In addition, the competition will welcome its event partner InventHelp and its official sponsor, WestEnd Software.

After 12 consecutive years running at Brand Licensing Europe, License This! is now a global competition with this year’s debut in the US market at Licensing Expo Virtual, held August 24th to 26th.

“Industry connection is mission-critical in the licensing sector, and the License This! program provides just that: accessibility to a bench of the world’s most influential licensing executives,” said Anna Knight, vice president of Licensing, Informa Markets.

“We are so proud of the doors that the program has opened for creatives and inventors over the past 12 years. Many of our former winners have gone on to produce world-class products and licensing campaigns; we love seeing winners and participants return to our annual events as exhibitors to watch.”

Submit an entry here to compete to win the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from 18 of the world’s most influential licensing executives; the call for submissions closes on July 19. Attendees of Brand Licensing Europe and Licensing Expo Virtual can tune into the live final held on August 25 —register to attend the free event here.

“Combining licensed content with product conceptualization creates new, robust innovation in technologies and play patterns that result in powerful consumer experiences,” shared Joe Moll, Director of Product Design, Engineering and Inventor Relations at Crayola and responsible for building an innovative and unique pipeline of Crayola products through cross-functional internal ideation and partnering with the external inventor community.

“As a product developer, I am very excited to be a judge at the License This! event this year, and look forward to reviewing the innovative entries and learning how we can best bridge the gap between product inventions and licensing opportunities.”

The competition is made up of three different categories:
⦁ License This! Character & Animation
⦁ License This! Brand & Design
⦁ License This! Inventions & Product Innovations – produced in association with InventHelp

The Character & Animation and Brand & Design categories are aimed at unlicensed brands and properties looking to use the Licensing Expo Virtual platform to secure a licensing deal or agency representation. The applicants are usually illustrator/publishing/animation focused.

The Inventions & Product Innovation category is about tangible product inventions (that are patented or patent-pending) or innovative product designs that would benefit from licensing, either through in-bound (i.e., putting a character on it to enhance it) or out-bound to a manufacturer (i.e., a wearables item that is licensed by a mass manufacturer from the inventor).

The competition provides select illustrators, designers, animators, and product inventors, the exciting opportunity to pitch their concepts in front of a panel of expert judges. This is then broadcast live during Licensing Expo Virtual to an audience of manufacturers, retailers, and brand owners.

“With thousands of IPs available and new products launched almost daily, it can be very challenging to stand out in this highly competitive industry. License This! provides a leg up above the competition and helps you hone your craft from an idea into a successful, marketable product,” said Knight.

Important dates to note:

⦁ Entries close: Monday, July 19
⦁ Judging day: Friday, July 23
⦁ Competition pre-record: Friday, August 13
⦁ Live finals: Wednesday, August 25

The winner receives the following prize:

⦁ One-to-one consultation with members of the judging panel and competition sponsor WestEnd Software
⦁ Exclusively to the winner of the ‘Inventions & Product Innovations’ category one-to-one consultation with InventHelp
⦁ Free-of-charge turnkey booth at Licensing Expo 2022
⦁ One year’s Licensing International membership
⦁ One year’s Products of Change membership

Licensing Expo Virtual details ‘most robust educational agenda to date’ ahead of next month’s online event

Retail education, sustainability clinics, and a keynote from senior executives from Warner Bros. Consumer Products make up just a fraction of the agenda for this year’s Licensing Expo Virtual, taking place August 24th to 26th in an online format.

Celebrating 40 years… yes, 40, of connecting IP owners with retailers, manufacturers, and licensees, Licensing Expo Virtual will feature what it has billed as ‘the most robust educational agenda to date.’ What’s more, visitor registration for the event next month is free of charge.

This year’s event features the return of Licensing U, produced by Licensing International, the US market debut of License This!, and an opening keynote address from senior executives at Warner Bros. Consumer Products, plus the launch of Digital Brand Roadshows, Retail Clinics, Sustainability Clinics produced in partnership with Products of Change.

“We are so excited to reveal this year’s agenda as we tailor-made each offering to mirror the industry’s most pressing and ever-changing needs,” said Anna Knight, vice president of Licensing, Informa Markets.

“As a result of extensive conversations with our exhibitor and attendee community, we have devised the strongest agenda to date that is geared toward inciting collaboration, drawing hundreds of IP to the forefront, and addressing the challenges our attendee-base faces daily.”

The agenda will split into live and on-demand content and include:


Digital Brand Roadshows: New to Licensing Expo, the Digital Brand Roadshows aim to highlight compelling brands and IP through an exciting collection of exhibitor case studies linked via a common theme, spotlighted in panel conversations broadcast live at the event. Categories for the 2021 event include:

  • Collaborations and Partnerships
  • New Exhibitors to the Event
  • Heritage and Nostalgia
  • The Live Experience
  • Animation and Anime
  • Licensing Around the World

Sustainability Clinics: Also new to the 2021 agenda are the Sustainability Clinics made possible by partner Products of Change, a global educational hub to drive sustainable change across consumer product markets and beyond. Attendees have the opportunity to participate in 30-minute clinics with experts from Products of Change to garner personalized advice on how to improve their current approach and gain a deeper understanding of what other players are doing in the licensing industry.

Retail Education & Ask Me Anything Sessions: Licensing Expo Virtual will offer Retail Clinics comprised of tailored educational sessions provided free of charge for all retailers. “Our intention with Retail Clinics is to ease the challenge of keeping up with and understanding key trends, helping retailers meet a range of licensing experts and gain the inspiration required to introduce licensing into retailer’s strategy,” commented Knight. Education sessions will include:

  • On-demand: Sessions on future trends, category-specific brand licensing case studies, and licensing 101 for retailers.
  • Live Broadcast: Ask Me Anything sessions where a panel of brand licensing experts will be on hand to answer any questions you have about brand licensing and retail. Questions can be submitted live or in advance and can remain anonymous.

Keynote Address: Senior executives from Warner Bros. Consumer Products will deliver the opening keynote address entitled “Unlocking the Fan Power of Global Franchises,” moderated by License Global magazine’s content director Amanda Cioletti. To tune into the address on August 24 at 11:00 a.m. EDT/8:00 a.m. PDT presented by Pam Lifford, president, global brands and experiences, WarnerMedia, and Robert Oberschelp, senior vice president, global franchise management and brand product, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

License This! Finale: On Day 2 of the event, attendees can be a part of the License This! competition finale, a global initiative produced in partnership with Licensing International and InventHelp that provides select illustrators, designers, animators, and product inventors, the exciting opportunity to pitch their concepts online in front of a panel of expert judges.


GLG Educational Content: Attendees can enjoy on-demand content produced by License Global, which will go live two weeks before the event and spotlight various industry categories, including:

  • Changing the Channel: The Evolution of Kids’ Content
  • Ordering Up: How F&B is Feeding Limited Edition Drops
  • Untapped Potential: How Mobile Gaming is Gearing Up for Big Change
  • Collectibles – Who’s Collecting What Now?
  • WTF is an NFT???!!

Licensing U: A Licensing Expo staple produced by Licensing International, Licensing U supports brand licensing newcomers and those interested in honing their expertise. This year’s educational offering will span three tracks:

  1. Basics, offering an essential introduction to how the licensing industry works
  2. Spotlights, providing insight into the latest topics and trends in key segments
  3. Tactics and Strategies, offering insight into the topics and trends impacting the brand licensing industry

A selection of Basics sessions includes:

  • Basics of International Licensing: A licensing program that operates in more than one country requires a specific set of considerations that can involve such aspects as financial, regulatory, and legal systems, cultural considerations, retail structures, and many others.
  • What You Need to Know About Royalty Rates: Find out how royalty rates are determined, what brand owners and licensees need to be thinking about when they’re being discussed, as well as the implications of the array of structures under which they’re calculated.
  • Developing a Retail Plan: A key element of any licensing effort to create a strategy for getting products to (and through) retail. Attendees will gain perspectives on how to understand the differences among various kinds of retailers, figure out their hot buttons, and match property or product lines to the appropriate targets.

A selection of Tactics and Strategies sessions includes:

  • The Future of NFTs: It might be the hottest topic in the business, with implications for corporate brands, sports, entertainment, celebrities, art – literally every category in licensing. What’s the state of the business, and where is it all headed? Experts will provide perspective.
  • Sustainability Strategies: Environmental responsibility is on the minds of an ever-growing number of consumers. Manufacturers and brand owners in all product categories need to address those concerns—a look at the latest thinking on sustainable sourcing and other topics.
  • Confronting Supply Chain Challenges: The pandemic didn’t just disrupt consumer behavior; it also sparked a significant disruption in manufacturing, shipping, and all aspects of getting new products to market in a cost-effective and timely way. How have things changed, and what’s the outlook for the future?

Attendees can secure their Licensing U Pass from just $88 for one track or $156 for the All-Access Pass by booking before July 23 to take advantage of the 20 per cent Early Bird discount. Licensing International members benefit from an additional 10 per cent discount.

For a full download of the 2021 Licensing Expo Virtual agenda, visit here. All sessions will remain available on-demand for three months after the live event ends.

Licensing Expo | Licensing International unveils 2021 Excellence Awards finalists

Licensing International has revealed the list of nominees from across the globe vying for the win at this year’s 2021 Licensing International Excellence Awards, taking place at Licensing Expo Virtual on Tuesday, August 24th.

More than 180 judges from 21 countries narrowed the record-setting number of entries to the more than 150 finalists across the awards’ 22 categories this year.

“Despite the many obstacles last year, the global licensing community created innovative products and programs – including amazing pandemic pivots, that showcase the power of brand licensing,” said Maura Regan, president of Licensing International. “We are thrilled to celebrate these nominees from around the globe for their incredible work and ingenuity, and look forward recognizing ‘the best of the best’ on August 24 at the Licensing International Excellence Awards ceremony.”

Here are the 2021 Licensing International Excellence Awards nominees:

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Apparel / Footwear / Accessories
Presented by Wildbrain CPLG

Company                                                                                                              Product

Blackmilk                                                                                           Harry Potter Range

Dr. Martens                                                                          Jean-Michel Basquiat Boots

Modern Works                                                                                            Kodak Range

Morgan Lane                                                                                   Monopoly Sleepwear

Primitive Skate                                                         Sailor Moon Skateboard Collection

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Appliances/Automotive/Electronics/Housewares/Paint
Presented by ViacomCBS

Company                                                                                                              Product

Baccarat Australia                                                           Game of Thrones Knife Range

Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software Co.                                         Pokémon Travel Range

CR Brands                                                                             Arm & Hammer Essentials Disinfecting Wipes

8 Star Energy                                                             Energizer Homepower and Energy Storage System

Honda                                                                                Chupa Chups Scoopy Scooter

Just Funky                                                                     Dragon Ball Z Tableware Range

Master Product Group                                                             Minions Robotic Vacuum

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Digital: Apps / Software / Video Games
Presented by Wildbrain – emojitown

Company                                                                                                              Product

Audible                                                                                         Sesame Street Podcast

Complete Control / Acamar Films                                    Bing Watch, Play, Learn App

Frontier Developments                                                             Jurassic World Evolution

Game for Peace                                                 The Metropolitan Museum of Art Game

Oculus                                                                                     Jurassic World Aftermath

Story Toys Ltd                                                            The Very Hungry Caterpillar Play School App

Top Golf                                                                   Angry Birds Interactive Golf Game

Wristworld                                                                                  Hatsune Miku AR Band

Presented by LI Accelerator Recipients Bedrock Collectibles, Holy Joe, LIBREX, Park Star Media & Somos Arte

Company                                                                                                              Product

Benvolio 1938                                                           Masha and the Bear Sunflower Oil

Brands for Fans                                                                                       KISS Dark Rum

Cacau Show                                                                           NBA Easter Confectionery

Fizz Creations Limited                                                 SLUSH PUPPiE & ICEE Maker

Guandong Jintian Animation Co.                                               Peppa Pig Baby Snacks

Kinnerton Confectionery Ltd                                           Harry Potter Chocolate Range

Vignobles Bardet                                                                            Peaky Blinders Wine

Yuengling                                                                                              Hershey’s Porter

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Health & Beauty Aids
Presented by Wildbrain – Teletubbies

Company                                                                                                              Product

Colour Pop                                                                            Candy Land Make-Up Line

Etude Cosmetics                                                          Hershey’s Kisses Cosmetics Line

Fresh                                                                                       The Met Facial Treatment

H&A                                                                            The Simpsons Novelty Bath Line

HipDot                                                                                          Tapatio Cosmetic Line

Mad Beauty Ltd                                                             Friends Bath & Body Essentials

Morphe                                                                                    Coca-Cola Cosmetic Line

Presented by Inspirit Designs

Company                                                                                                              Product

BeArty Ltd                                                                                            Vizzio Art Range

Design House Stockholm                                      Carl & Karin Larsson Furniture Line

Feribiella S.p.A.                                                         Premoli & Di Bella Dog Furniture Range

Kross Studio                                                                                      Batman Desk Clock

Royal Selangor International Sdn Bhd                         Harry Potter Pewter Collectibles

Secret Lab                                                                                    Batman Gaming Chairs

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Publishing / Social Expression / Back-to-School
Presented by ViacomCBS

Company                                                                                                              Product

Blueprint Collections Ltd                                                Van Gogh Museum Stationery

Chronicle Books                                                                                  LEGO Note Brick

Chronicle Books                                                      LEGO Still Life Coffee Table Book

Hachette Collections Japan                                                          Peter Rabbit Partworks

Heroes’ Feast                                                                Dungeons & Dragons Cookbook

Libros MiCuento SL                                            “Little Prince & I” Personalized Book

Montegrappa                                                                              Monopoly Fountain Pen

Penguin Random House                                                                 Tasty Cookbook Line

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Toys / Games / Novelties / Role Play (ages 0-8)
Presented by Alifish

Company                                                                                                              Product

Aurora World Inc                                                                                     Dr. Seuss Plush

CreateOn / Magna-Tile                                    The Very Hungry Caterpillar Interactive Storytime

Headstart International                                                 Sesame Street Resoftables Plush

PlayMonster                                                             Peppa Pig Grow & Play Peppa Pots

Jazwares                                                                            The Mandalorian – The Child Squishmallows Plush

Kid Trax / Pacific Cycle                                    The USPS® Mail Delivery Truck Ride-On

Moose Toys                                                                                           Bluey Toy Range

BEST LICENSED PRODUCT – Toys / Games / Novelties / Role Play (ages 8+)
Presented by Inspirit Designs

Company                                                                                                              Product

Hornby Hobbies Ltd                             The Beatles Eurostar Yellow Submarine Model Train Set

LEGO                                                                           Andy Warhol LEGO Art Edition

Playmates                                                                                 Billie Eilish Fashion Doll

Playmobil                                                                           Back to the Future DeLorean

Winning Solutions Game Company                       Monopoly 85th Anniversary Edition

XM Studios                                                                         Batman Collectible Figurine

Zuru                                                                                             5 Surprise Mini Brands

Presented by Bedrock Collectibles, Holy Joe, LIBREX, Park Star Media & Somos Arte




Pacific Licensing Studio


Retail Monster

The Joester Loria Group

The Point.1888

Wildbrain CPLG

Presented by ViacomCBS

Company                                                                                                               Agency

American Red Cross                                                                  Seltzer Licensing Group

Braun                                                                                                                 Beanstalk

CosmoLiving                                                                                                             IMG

Craftsman                                                                                                          Beanstalk

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company                                                                          IMG

Hewlett-Packard                                                                                                    LMCA

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company                                                    Seltzer Licensing Group

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Digital: Apps & Video Games
Presented by Inspirit Designs

Brand                                                                                                                 Company

emoji®                                                                                          emoji company GmbH

Minecraft                                                                                                           Microsoft

Pokémon                                                                                    The Pokémon Company

Sonic the Hedgehog                                                                                                  Sega

Subway Surfers                                                                                          SYBO Games

Super Mario                                                                                                       Nintendo

XBOX                                                                                                               Microsoft

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Entertainment / Character / Toy Brand – Animated
Presented by Alifish

Brand                                                                                                                 Company

Bing                                                                                                            Acamar Films

Bluey                                                                                                             Ludo Studio

Moomin                                                                                             Moomin Characters

Naruto                                                                                                          Shueisha Inc.

Peppa Pig                                                                                                               Hasbro

Pink Panther                                                                                               MGM Studios

Trolls World Tour                                                            Universal Brand Development

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Entertainment / Character – Live Action
Presented by Inspirit Designs

Brand                                                                                                                 Company

Animal Planet                                                                                                   Discovery

Harry Potter                                                                Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Love, Diana                                                                                                 pocket.watch

Peaky Blinders                                                                Caryn Mandabach Productions

Ryan’s World                                                                              Sunlight Entertainment

Street Dance of China                                                 Alibaba Culture & Entertainment Group

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Food / Beverage / Restaurant Brand
Presented by Wildbrain CPLG Lifestyle

Brand                                                                                                                 Company

Baileys                                                                                                                   Diageo

Cinnabon                                                                                             Focus Brands LLC

Coca-Cola / Hi-C / Sprite                                                         The Coca-Cola Company

Corona                                                                                             Constellation Brands

Hershey’s                                                                                     The Hershey Company

Heinz / KoolAid / Oscar Mayer                                             The Kraft Heinz Company

SLUSH PUPPiE                                                                                      ICEE Company

Tasty                                                                                                                  Buzzfeed

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Lifestyle: Art / Design / Celebrity / Fashion Brand
Presented by Bedrock Collectibles, Holy Joe, LIBREX, Park Star Media & Somos Arte

Brand                                                                                                                 Company

Andy Warhol                                                                    The Andy Warhol Foundation

New York Botanical Garden                                               New York Botanical Garden

Paul Frank                                                                                        China Brands Group

Peter Rabbit                                                                                          Penguin Ventures

Smiley                                                                                            The Smiley Company

The Rolling Stones                                                                             The Rolling Stones

The Very Hungry Caterpillar                                                                Eric Carle Studio

V&A                                                                                   Victoria and Albert Museum

BEST LICENSED BRAND – Sports / Collegiate
Presented by ViacomCBS

Brand                                                                                                                 Company

NCAA                                                                                  National Collegiate Athletic Association

NFLPA                                                                                     NFL Players Association

Presented by Alifish

Collaboration                                                                                                     Company

Allbirds, Baggu, Catbird, J.Crew, Estee Lauder, Mast, The Sill                        The Met

Crayola x Adidas & Donovan Mitchell                                               Crayola & Adidas

Disney x Keith Haring x Coach                                                         Coach IP Holdings

Nerf x Fortnite x Travis Scott                                                    Epic Games & Jazwares

Peanuts x BarkBox                                                         Peanuts Worldwide & BarkBox

Pokémon x Longchamp                                        The Pokémon Company International

The Very Hungry Caterpillar x Fila                                                      Eric Carle Studio

Presented by Wildbrain CPLG – Peanuts Worldwide

Company                                                                                             Company / Agency

Barbie & Tim Hortons Hockey Promotion                                                            Mattel

“We’re On It”: Transformers, TMNT, Robocop                Direct Line / Born Licensing

Monet Afternoon Tea at Pizza Hut                          Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Pizza Hut, Alfilo

SweeTARTS Unleash your Super Self, WW84        Ferrara Candy Co & Warner Bros.

The Smurfs: EU Beach Clean Up                                                                IMPS / Lafig

tokidoki Snow Holiday at Changi Festival Village     Changi Airport, tokidoki, Pacific Licensing

BEST RETAILER – Corporate / Lifestyle / Fashion / Sports
Presented by Alifish

Company                                                                                                             Property

Cotton On                                                                                             Streets (Unilever)

H&M                                                                                        The Coca-Cola Company

Peter Alexander                                                                                    Streets (Unilever)

Riva Fashion and Armada Group                                              Chupa Chups & Mentos

Spirit Halloween                                                                                                  Dunkin’

Stellar Partners, Inc                                                                                                 Wired

BEST RETAILER – Entertainment / Character
Presented by Bedrock Collectibles, Holy Joe, LIBREX, Park Star Media & Somos Arte

Company                                                                                                             Property

Best & Less                                                                       PAC-MAN & Space Invaders

Big W                                                                                                                    Minecraft

Box Lunch                                                                                 Marvel Eat the Universe

Leclerc                                                                                                    Wizarding World

Joué Club                                                                                                      Harry Potter

Peter Alexander                                                                                             Peter Rabbit

Primark                                                                                                        Mickey Mouse

Presented by ViacomCBS

Company                                                                                                            Company

Crayola Wellness Essentials                                                                                Crayola

Mad Engine Million Mask Give Away                                             Mad Engine Global

MaskClub                                                                                                               Trevco

Peanuts At-Home Offerings                                                              Peanuts Worldwide

Peppa Pig: Peppa Loves Doctors & Nurses                                                          Hasbro

Sesame Street: Caring for Each Other                                                Sesame Workshop

Spirit of Children PPE Donations                                                          Spirit Halloween

Trolls World Tour                                                            Universal Brand Development

Licensing Expo Virtual: Leading figures from Warner Bros. Consumer Products take opening keynote of online event

Key figures from Warner Bros. Consumer Products will kick off the first day of Licensing Expo Virtual this year, taking the digital stage for the opening keynote of the free-to-attend online event this August.

Pam Lifford, president of WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experience will be joined by Robert Oberschelp, senior vice president, global franchise management and brand product for Warner Bros, Consumer Products, to deliver the address titled Unlocking the Fan Power of Global Franchises.

Scheduled for August 24th, Lifford and Oberschelp will take the virtual stage at 11am EDT or 8am PDT, presenting attendees with insight into their business strategy, a key contributor to the $292.8 billion licensing industry.

“Licensing is a strategic tool for brands to leverage in order to extend their audience reach and gain market share – we are honored to headline Licensing Expo Virtual and share our deep pool of insights and learnings from across Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ wide assortment of portfolios,” said Lifford.

Lifford is responsible for developing all-new fan-engagement business opportunities at WarnerMedia, in addition to aligning current fan-focused activities, while Oberschelp’s role includes oversight of Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ global licensing program that brings new and existing collections to fans.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products is currently super-sizing its franchises across its portfolio to create multiple consumer touchpoints – from content to commerce – enabling it to meet its fans wherever they are. Attendees will be invited to learn from Lifford and Oberschelp in this fireside conversation that will touch on topics spanning the power of super fandom to leveraging e-commerce channels in 2021 and 2022, as well as when to pull on direct-to-consumer levers, and how to maximize multiple platforms, enhance collaborations and in-store retail.

“We could not be more excited to share that executives from a world-renowned studio with global reach and influence will kick off this year’s event; Lifford and Oberschelp’s address is a must-attend,” said Anna Knight, vice president of Licensing, Informa Markets.

“Between the two executives, attendees will have access to decades of experience in executing licensing campaigns that have shaped the entertainment sector and will walk away with newfound learnings they can apply to foster brand growth and expansion.”

Among pre-registrations for Licensing Expo Virtual this year, are retailers including Alibaba, Amazon, Claire’s, Lidl, Primark, rue21, Superdry, TJX, and Toys’R’Us, as well as licensees Bentex Group, Bioworld International, Boeing Group, Colgate Palmolive, Ferrero, Garmin, Hallmark Cards, HER Accessories, PUMA, Ravensburger, Tastemakers, and TOMY International.