Licensing-X Germany gearing up for successful show

Event organiser Spielwarenmesse eG has issued an update on preparations for Licensing-X Germany, planned in close cooperation with Licensing International and set to take place from 5 to 7 October at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre alongside the stationery expo Insights-X. The event aims to offer new programming and networking opportunities for the entire licensing industry, which continues to grow rapidly. 

Rapid growth

According to the Global Sizing Study by Licensing International, the worldwide retail revenue in licensed products and services amounted to 320 billion US dollars in 2021. In the German market alone, the sum adds up to 12.5 billion US dollars, an increase of 4.5% in comparison to the last study in 2019.

The strongest growth was registered by corporate brands, which grew disproportionately in the last year. This is due to the “cocooning” trend during the pandemic, whereby consumers fell back on familiar, trusted brands. The categories with the highest revenue are fashion and accessories, toys, video games, sports, entertainment electronics and foodstuffs.

Promising trends

Licensors, licensees and licensing agents, service providers and specialist retailers will all have the opportunity at the show to exploit the second largest European market, get to know its particularities and conclude new licensing deals. Currently, tried and tested properties dominated by blockbusters and famous characters from the preschool sector as well as innovative licenses from digital worlds are trending. These include NFTs, platforms such as YouTube, and streaming services. At Licensing-X Germany, the possibilities span much more than just the toy industry, offering the opportunity to reach new horizons with exciting business opportunities.

“Licensing-X Germany follows the long tradition of Licensing Market, which we have been organising for the licensing industry in the German-speaking area for over 20 years,” says Peter Hollo, who runs Licensing International in Germany. “After the pandemic continuously threw a spanner into its works, it was high time to replace an outdated hotel trade-fair format with a professional licensing trade fair. That is why Licensing-X Germany is not just a place for licensors alone, but rather the large overarching platform for all who offer services in the German-speaking licensing business.”

Market-oriented speakers

The event will be rounded off with an informative supporting programme. Licensing International will contribute with its own, already established formats such as the Licensing Awards and the Licensing University. Among the first confirmed speakers who will report on current industry topics are Prof Karl Peter Fischer, lecturer for applied management and digital marketing, and patent lawyer Christian Fortmann. Anika Scharlock, Global Relations Manager – Brand Protection at Amazon, is a keynote speaker. In addition, there will be a get-together with all participants of Insights-X on the first evening of the event.

Synergies and services

Parallel event Insights-X is the only independent specialist expo for the international stationery industry in Germany. It offers strong points of contact to the licensing business with its back-to-school category. Visitors will especially profit from the KombiTicket: at a price of 10 euros, it provides access to both expos for the entire duration and can be used as a ticket for local public transport. Opening hours are from 9 am to 6 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and from 9 am to 5 pm on Friday. Ticket sales will begin on 27 July.

In summary, Spielwarenmesse eG’s Christian Ulrich says: “With Licensing-X Germany, we are expanding our portfolio into a rapidly growing market that is well-known to us and does business across various industries. We are doing everything we can to make the event the ‘place to be’ in the German-speaking area.”

Constantly updated information is available at the two websites and

Licensing International announces 2022 Accelerator Program participants

Licensing International has announced the six companies selected to participate in the 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Accelerator Program. They are:

  • Blmrbl (Baltimore, USA)
    Blmrbl (“Blue Marble”) is a social shopping platform enabling global pop culture fan communities to buy and sell officially licensed merchandise online. Blmrbl provides a wide range of diverse products for minority fan communities and grading authentication services for the preservation of pop culture collectibles.
  • FanBase Africa (Cape Town, South Africa)
    Fanbase Africa is a print-on-demand, direct-to-consumer eCommerce company that sells licensed music and sports merchandise to fans across the world. (
  • Happy Tottii (Funchal, Portugal)
    HappyTottii is a new emoji focused on love and happiness. Nature and the environment are also of great importance for this little ladybug whose aim is to make people happy while at the same time teaching core values of mindfullness and sustainability. HappyTottii embodies the co-existence of technology and nature, with its synergies and frictions. (
  • Katalyst MGMT (Los Angeles, USA)
    Katalyst MGMT is a creative licensing agency based in Los Angeles specializing in art direction, cannabis licensing, and strategic collaborations. Clients include High Times magazine, Snoop Dogg, Marathon OG, Cheech & Chong, and Santa Cruz Shredder. The agency also provides consulting for manufacturing smoking accessories, packaging, and distribution.
  • Knotting Hill Inc. (Fergus, Canada)
    Knotting Hill Inc. was born when consumers were stuck at home. With more time to observe the need for fresh products, founder Tania James decided to take matters into her own hands. Knotting Hill Inc. was established in 2021 with the goal of bringing innovative household products to market through licensing agreements with forward-thinking companies. (
  • Little River Co. (Toronto, Canada)
    Little River Co. was established in 2020 with the goal of highlighting fashion and anime as a form of artistic expression. Initially offering embroidered apparel, Little River has expanded its product offering to include rugs and collectible plush toys. Little River Co. creates pieces that have gothic and streetwear overtones while embracing anime and manga iconography. (

“The Accelerator Program is an important part of our work to help our members —and the broader licensing community — build diverse and inclusive workplaces,” says Maura Regan, president of Licensing International. “Licensing International is committed to supporting the global licensing industry as it works to attract, develop, and retain the best and brightest from all backgrounds.”

Each participating company will receive benefits valued at more than $100,000. These benefits include monthly mentoring meetings with industry leaders as well as a one-year Licensing International membership, including consultation services, networking resources, access to exclusive research, and business savings. Additionally, participating companies will be enrolled in Licensing International’s Coursework in Licensing Studies, an in-depth study of the business of licensing and the industry’s only training ground to become a Qualified Licensing Practitioner (QLP).

The Accelerator Program is sponsored by the NBPA, the NFLPA, Peanuts Worldwide LLC, Sony Pictures, and Amazon.


Oh, what a show! Record number of retailers attend Licensing Expo

Licensing Expo, the May event organised in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International, drew thousands of attendees from the world’s most reputable retailers and licensees. The number of retailers in attendance rose 42% from the 2019 event, marking record growth for Licensing Expo.

Notable attending companies included Target, Hot Topic, Walmart, Fanatics, Five Below, Zulily, Centric Brands, Primark, Burlington Stores, CVS, Forever 21, El Corte Ingles, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Hybrid Apparel, Mad Engine, ASOS, Inditex, Hallmark Cards, Jakks Pacific, PacSun, H&M, Crocs, and Bioworld Merchandising, with many bringing large teams to span multiple product categories.

Held live at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas from May 24 through 26, the event’s in-person return was highly anticipated by the $292 billion global licensing industry, indicated by the nearly 5,500 meetings held on the show floor, with many more expected on the online platform, standing room-only keynote sessions, and well-attended educational and networking seminars.

The vibrant show floor hosted more than 250 exhibitors spanning the widest cross selection of categories to date – Characters & Entertainment, Art & Design, Gaming & eSports, Music, Agents, Corporate Brands, Location-Based Entertainment, and more – all benefiting from 10,000+ unique attendees in search of new partners, brands, products, and trends to introduce to consumers.

“We’re still reeling from what was a truly remarkable event – everything from the engagement, education, to the dazzling booths surpassed everyone’s expectations,” says Anna Knight, SVP of the Global Licensing Group, organisers of Licensing Expo. “All we heard for three days was the incredible quality of attendees, underscoring the pent-up demand for an in-person event after three years apart. Thank you to everyone who collectively made the event the astounding success that it was.

“Each year, Licensing Expo serves as a springboard for new trends that will excite consumers that tap into societal behaviors, and this year did not disappoint. From Gary Vaynerchuk and Pam Kaufman addressing the cross selection of entertainment and NFTs on the keynote stage to the many immersive offerings that show the power of location-based experiences, which was our theme for the year, the show was the meeting place to discover how the most recognisable and up-and-coming brands are shaping and bringing new spins to the hottest trends.”

Licensing Expo was held both in-person and online for the first time, opening the digital platform in advance of the live get-together for attendees to discover licensable IPs and schedule meetings for a productive on-site experience. Additionally, the online platform remained open from May 27 to June 3 to facilitate follow-up appointments and enable guests the opportunity to engage with content on-demand at a convenient time.

“It was wonderful to be back in person; the show exceeded all our expectations,” says Warren Schorr, SVP of Business Development & Global Licensing at Crayola, a sought-after exhibitor on the show floor. “While the show is always great for pre-booked meetings with traditional licensing industry partners, first-time attendees in Location-Based Entertainment, interactive, and traditional categories brought a fresh perspective and energy to the show. Decision-makers came looking for opportunities. Based on how our booth and the booths around us were packed, I expect most attendees came away with a robust pipeline for future new business.”

In addition to discovering trend-driven IPs, registered guests had access to three days of expert-led education. Throughout the show, the Licensing U Theater drew thousands of guests for sustainability education, insights on entering the licensing industry, trend predictions, and much more.

Steven Heller, President and Founder of The Brand Liaison, a prominent exhibitor at Licensing Expo, comments: “It was so great to be back live and in-person; the energy at Licensing Expo 2022 was beyond incredible. The show was crowded; everyone was excited about new licensing deals, bringing new products to market, and new brands. Can’t wait till 2023.”

A highlight of the event included the two keynote addresses that brought inspiration and insights to registered guests on May 24 and May 25, attracting the biggest audiences in the show’s history with seats filling up quickly, thus resulting in standing room only that spilled into the expo hallways.

  • May 24: The Power of Possibilities: What’s Ahead for Licensing
    • Pam Kaufman, president, consumer products and experiences, Paramount
    • Gary Vaynerchuk, chairman, VaynerX, chief executive officer, VaynerMedia and creator and chief executive officer, VeeFriends
  • May 25: From Dream to Reality: The Power of Brand Licensing for Location-Based Entertainment
    • Cecil D. Magpuri, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Falcon’s Beyond
    • Robert L. Ward, President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert L. Ward, Inc.
    • Susan Vargo, Head of Live Events and Location-based Experiences, Moonbug
    • George Wade, President, Bay Laurel Partners (moderator)

The License This! Competition was another well-attended programme that drew a strong audience for the live finale, where six finalists competed for the grand prize package in front of an expert judging panel. Kieche Meleson O’Connell, designer of Catoms: Atoms with Attitude, was selected as the winner of the Character & Animation category, and Stef “Sharky” Shultz won the Brand & Design category with Hunnie Bumble and Friends. Each winner walked away with the following:

  • Free-of-charge 100 square foot booth at Licensing Expo 2023 worth $2,500
  • One-year Licensing International membership worth $1,000 for a small business
  • One-year Products of Change membership, worth up to $450 for a small business
  • One-to-one consultation with License This! judges

Register here to save the date for next year’s Licensing Expo, returning from May 23-25, 2023, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Licensing International appoints nine new board members

Licensing International has announced that nine executives – Casey Collins, Hasbro; Michael Connolly, Retail Monster; Javier Garza, Warner Bros. Discovery; Alexandra Heyd, BurdaVerlag Germany; Tanya Isler, Netflix; Stuart Pollock, Segal Licensing; Marc Schneider, Beanstalk; Kalle Törmä, Flowhaven; and Angell Xi, Jingtian & Gongcheng – have been elected by the Licensing International membership to serve three-year terms on its Board of Directors, effective July 1, 2022.

Steve Scebelo, president of NFL Players Inc., will serve as chairperson and Veronica Hart, EVP of global franchise planning for Paramount Consumer Products & Experiences, will serve as vice chairperson.

“I am so pleased to welcome the nine new members of our Board, whose diverse experiences and invaluable knowledge will help Licensing International support the expansion of brand licensing around the world,” says Maura Regan, president of Licensing International. “I want to thank outgoing chairperson Jay Asher and outgoing board members Sol Armada, Juli Boylan, Omar Fajer, Elias Fasja Cohen, Simo Hamalainen, and Ed Labay for their time and dedication.”

Casey Collins – Head of Licensed Consumer Products & Business Development, Hasbro, Inc.
Casey Collins brings decades of experience and leadership in the licensing industry. He is currently the Head of Licensed Consumer Products & Business Development at Hasbro where he is focused on creating and delivering the world’s best play and entertainment experiences across Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint, through toys and games, immersive entertainment experiences, digital gaming, and consumer products. Collins also oversees Hasbro’s Business Development Department that successfully negotiates and manages Toy & Game licenses with some of the most valuable properties in the industry. 

Michael Connolly – Founder & CEO, Retail Monster
Michael Connolly is Founder and CEO of Retail Monster LLC, an innovative, leading licensing agency with offices in the US and Europe. Retail Monster’s world-class client roster includes the likes of Electronic Arts, Sybo (Subway Surfers), Copyrights (Paddington), Crayola, Moonbug, Minecraft, Hasbro, Sega (UK), and Mattel (UK). Before Retail Monster, Connolly served as head of global consumer products for DreamWorks Animation. In this capacity, he drove the company’s worldwide consumer products business, overseeing a portfolio containing many of the world’s most beloved entertainment franchises including Trolls, Shrek, and How to Train Your Dragon.

Javier Garza – Head of Consumer Products Mexico, Warner Bros. Discovery
Javier Garza joined Warner Bros. in 2001, first serving as senior category manager at the Consumer Products Mexico office before being promoted in 2002 to category director Latin America, overseeing all promotional and branded food deals for the region. Due to his knowledge and experience, he was appointed general manager for the Mexico Office and, in 2006, he was promoted to licensing VP for Latin America & GM Mexico. Garza’s merchandising and retail experience spans many different demographics and includes franchises like Looney Tunes, DC Comics, Wizarding World, HBO, Hanna-Barbera, and Cartoon Network.

Alexandra Heyd – Head of Licensing | Brands & Acquisition, BurdaVerlag Germany
Alexandra Heyd started her career in 2001 in art licensing at ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE group where, throughout her 18-year tenure, she last spearheaded TV, lifestyle, and corporate brand activities. In 2019, Heyd joined German publishing giant BurdaVerlag, where she heads licensing with a focus on brands, acquisitions, and portfolio expansion endeavors. Her focus has always been to create 360-degree thematic worlds for each franchise opportunity through holistic cooperation, out-of-the-box thinking, and the most up-to-date digital assets and state-of-the-art technology.

Tanya Isler – Director of Licensing & Publishing, Netflix
A production assistant role in fashion led to Tanya Isler’s first licensing role. The mix of strategy, negotiation, product development and brand management ticked a lot of boxes for her and that job kickstarted a love of licensing and consumer products that has spanned fashion (Isaac Mizrahi, BCBG), entertainment (Disney), publishing (Time Inc, Conde Nast), Martha Stewart, and now Netflix. Isler believes a diverse membership base that reflects audiences and brands is key to making sure the industry continues to evolve. As a woman of colour who has navigated the licensing industry, she hopes to share her insights and experiences – both professional and personal – in order to help reach this goal.

Stuart Pollock – President, Segal Licensing
Stuart Pollock began his career at Paramount working in marketing at Canada’s number-one theatre chain, Famous Players. There, he worked with studios like Disney, MGM, and Sony to develop their in-theatre marketing programmes. Pollock also worked with WWE to develop a first-of-its-kind in-theatre programme to show their PPV in theatres across Canada. After Paramount, he was recruited by Microsoft to lead strategic partnerships for the launch of Xbox in the Canadian marketplace. In the 19 years that Pollock has been at Segal Licensing he has developed licensing programmes on properties such as Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Crayola, Spin Master, King Features, DreamWorks, 20th Century Fox and Marvel.

Marc Schneider – Chief Financial & Operating Officer, Beanstalk
Marc Schneider is responsible for Beanstalk’s global finance and operations, including management of the agency’s unparalleled financial platforms that ensure clients receive best-in-class financial and operational information and analysis. Additionally, Schneider oversees the U.K. office brand teams and facilitates short-term and long-range strategic planning activities across the company to grow Beanstalk in the U.S. and internationally. He started at Beanstalk in 2013 and has more than 35 years of experience in finance and operations, with a keen understanding of the licensing industry, having held prior finance and operations positions at CBS, Sesame Workshop, and HIT Entertainment.

Kalle Törmä – CEO & Founder, Flowhaven
Kalle Törmä has more than ten years of licensing industry expertise and a deep appreciation for the business model. He founded and serves as the CEO of Flowhaven, a globally renowned technology company bringing licensing to the 21st century by replacing slow progress and complexity with intelligent features and collaboration. Törmä has raised more than $20 million in funding and added the company to investor portfolios, including Canva and LinkedIn. He believes that innovation and education will unlock the next generation of brand licensing success stories. In the last two years, his company has opened offices across five continents and grown to include nearly 100 employees from diverse backgrounds.

Angell Xi – Partner, Jingtian & Gongcheng 
Angell Xi has 25 years of experience in the legal and licensing business, with expertise in IP licensing, art, luxury and fashion fields. For 12 years, Xi served as general counsel, Asia Pacific for GEIP and Ashland, leading compliance for Kering Asia and Michelin China Counsel, which equipped her with solid leadership and sophisticated cross-border business management skills. In licensing, Xi is proficient in providing legal and compliance solutions. For years, she has worked closely with property owners, licensors, licensees, agents, associations, and government agencies to safeguard clients’ interests and promote licensing as platform to empower.




Licensing International releases first findings from annual Global Licensing Industry Study

Licensing International has released a topline preview of its seventh annual Global Licensing Industry Study. Available in full on June 24, the report, conducted by Brandar Consulting, shows some pandemic trends continue to strongly shape the global licensing industry.

The licensing industry has faced significant change over the past two years, both in terms of migration towards the product categories showing growth, and the partnerships built within those categories. The topline report showcases that there was a flight towards stable, evergreen properties with both consumer comfort and staying power being the key drivers behind this switch.

“The study highlights the impressive growth the licensing industry has seen over the past two years,” says Maura Regan, President of Licensing International. “With the constant emergence of new innovations and trends, there are some incredible opportunities to grow even further, some of which will be previewed at next week’s Licensing Expo.”

The global sizing study contains two years’ worth of economic data, country-level data, product market data, royalty rate data, and company-level financials, painting a full picture of what has transpired in the licensing industry. Notable findings from the early release of the study include:

  • Retail – An explosion of e-commerce emerged across the retail landscape, capturing 34% of global licensed sales as businesses fully embraced the move, noting a two-fold benefit of increasing distribution when physical shelf space was so compressed, while also increasing their profit margins.
  • Celebrities – Celebrity licensing saw significant growth (30.1%) because it served as a very close proxy to Entertainment properties, with established Celebrity brands being viewed as more evergreen with longer-term staying power at retail.
  • Sports – With Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) licensing becoming a reality for college athletes, the collegiate sports category was up 18.6%, showing even stronger growth than the overall sports category, which grew 8%.
  • Publishing – With the pandemic leading to a renewed interest in leisure reading, Publishing properties saw a resurgence in the licensing world growing share for a fifth year in a row, now accounting for 8.5% of the global licensing business.

The report dives further into additional categories, touching upon pressing topics within the industry including sustainability, royalties, counterfeiting, and more.

Further results from Licensing International’s 2022 Global Licensing Industry Study will be published in a complete report, including regional and country-by-country breakdowns for major markets.

The full report will be made available for free to Licensing International members on June 24 and will also be available for purchase by non-members.


BLE closes applications for Retail Mentoring Programme after record intake

Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) has officially closed applications for its Retail Mentoring Programme (RMP) for the first time in its 12-year history, following a record uptake with 82 buyers from 19 different retailers. 
The annual programme kicked off last week when 78 RMP delegates attended Licensing International’s Licensing Essentials course in central London. This year’s programme will culminate at BLE after a day hosted by a brand owner or agent, and another licensing for retail conference in September. Hosts this year are selected from BLE exhibitors and include Acamar, Beanstalk, Bulldog, Bravado, Hasbro, NHM, TSBA, The Point 1888, Warner Brothers and Wildbrain CPLG.
This year’s RMP participants are as follows, including first timers Next, Pets at Home, DFS and New Look:
1.      Asda George
3.     DFS
4.     Fat Face
5.     John Lewis
6.     M&Co
7.     Marks & Spencer
8.     Matalan
9.     Moonpig
10.   Morrisons
11.     New Look
12.    Next
13.    Paultons Park
14.   Pep & Co
15.    Pets at Home
16.   Sainsbury’s
17.   Tesco
18.   The Entertainer
19.   Truffle Shuffle
Truffle Shuffle Brand Director Aby Sollitt-Davis says: “After 10 years working in licensing there is always something new to learn. Even if it is how to get a better deal. You have to know what to look and ask for in the deal memo to be able to make it work best for you. Business is a two-way street, and all agreements require both sides to understand what is at stake for both parties to come to a happy agreement. Finding creative freedom in a world of rules needs a course like the Retail Mentoring Programme to allow creative minds and business sense to come together in a fun and relaxed environment.”
A further 27 delegates, the majority RMP alumni from retailers including Tesco, Selfridges, The Very Group, Sainsbury’s, Groupon,, Pep & Co, Marks & Spencer and The Entertainer, were also in London on 12 May to attend the first ever Brand Licensing Retailers’ Academy masterclass.
BLRA is a joint partnership between BLE and Licensing International and attendees heard sessions on children’s licensing from experts including:
·       Jenny Kieras, Chief Revenue Officer and Matthew Smith, Head of Industry Foresight at Insights Family
·       Gary Pope, Co-Founder and CEO at Kids Industries
Plus, a panel on toys featured Andrea Gornall, Sales and Licensing Director, 8th Wonder; Melanie Beer, Licensing Director EMEA, Amscan International and Richard Hollis, Licensing Consultant.
Head of Retail, Licensing at Global Licensing Group, Laura Freedman-Dagg says: “We’re delighted with the range of retailers on the Retail Mentoring Programme this year. It’s the biggest group we’ve ever had, and the buyers have already shown such enthusiasm for licensing. The Licensing Essentials Course was the perfect start to the programme, and I know that the licensor host days will once again be a highlight.
“It was also exciting to host the first Brand Licensing Retailers’ Academy, which we launched in partnership with Licensing International earlier this year. The majority of the academy delegates have previously completed our mentoring programme so it’s fantastic to be able to provide ongoing learning opportunities in the lead-up to BLE. I’d like to thank all of the retailers who took the time to attend – we know how difficult it can be to secure time out of the office, but I hope they returned to work feeling reinvigorated and ready to discover their next big licensing opportunities.”

Licensing International announces partnership with BetterHelp

Licensing International has announced a partnership with BetterHelp, offering a new series of benefits available to members just in time for Mental Health Awareness Month, which takes place in May.

BetterHelp, the world’s largest online counselling service, endeavours to make professional therapy accessible, affordable, and convenient, and has helped more than 2 million people to date. Offering a comprehensive Mental Health Program for organisations, Licensing International will join its roster of partners alongside other notable organisations using BetterHelp’s services, including TikTok, American Express, Greenpeace, and more.

Through this partnership, more than 1,200 members of Licensing International (and their staff) will now have access to:

  • Four complimentary sessions
  • Access to over 20,000 licensed therapists and professional counsellors
  • Flexible session scheduling through texting, phone, video and live chat
  • Help anywhere, with availability in 200+ countries and 56 languages

“The foundation of every company is its employees, and if those employees aren’t healthy both physically and mentally, it will affect the success and future of your organisation,” says Maura Regan, President of Licensing International. “It’s important to not only offer our members the proper resources to achieve this, but also the appropriate platform to have those conversations, which we have found in BetterHelp.”

Licensing International members can confirm eligibility and get started beginning May 5.

Licensing International and Octane5 name participants in global mentoring programme

The first group of mentors and mentees in the Licensing International Mentoring Program have been paired. Launched by Licensing International and sponsor Octane5 in January, this year-long effort marks the industry’s first ever global mentoring programme and is aimed at bringing the expertise of global licensing veterans to young professionals.

Participants in this year’s programme come from companies spanning multiple categories and territories, including Acamar, Beanstalk Licensing, Bulldog Licensing, Discovery, Holy Joe, Jazwares, NASCAR, Paramount, Penguin Random House, Redbubble, Rocket Licensing and SEGA. The Licensing International Mentoring Program will initially focus on regions including the US, the UK, France, Germany, and Japan.

Mentoring is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool. In addition to allowing mentees to build skills and knowledge while working to attain their career goals, the programme also provides an opportunity for mentors to further enhance their expertise through exposure to fresh perspectives.

In addition to sponsoring the mentoring programme, Octane5 is expanding its partnership with Licensing International to sponsor the Licensing International Young Professionals Network (YPN). YPN is designed to help brand licensing professionals under the age of 35 to expand their skills, network, and horizons with free educational and social events. The 2022 YPN calendar kicked off on March 31 in London, with more events coming soon to New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.

“We are so excited to partner with Octane5 and appreciate their support of both the Mentoring and YPN programmes,” says Maura Regan, President of Licensing International. “Mentoring is a powerful tool that has the potential to transform the licensing industry, and both of these programmes provide opportunities for growth, development, and the building of meaningful connections.”

“Over 20 years ago, my brother Matt and I learned about licensing the way so many others do, by working and depending on industry veterans for advice,” says Mike Dunn, Co-Founder and Co-President of Octane5.  “We love licensing – it’s an energetic, dynamic industry with so many great people who are willing to help the next generation. We are especially proud to play a part in helping others learn and grow.”

Day 2 Licensing Expo keynote to focus on location-based entertainment

Licensing Expo 2022, produced in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International, has lined up senior executives from Falcon’s Beyond, Robert L. Ward, and Moonbug as 2022 keynote panellists confirmed to speak at the Day 2 keynote.

Slated to be held on the expo floor in the Licensing U Theatre at 12-12:45pm on May 25 and accessible to all free of charge, the expert-led panel, moderated by Bay Laurel Advisors, brings together some of the most respected names in the industry for a trend-driven presentation titled “From Dream to Reality: The Power of Brand Licensing for Location-Based Entertainment.” To tune in to the keynote panel, register for Licensing Expo for free here.

Day 2 keynote presenters include:

  • Cecil D. Magpuri, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Falcon’s Beyond
  • Robert L. Ward, President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert L. Ward, Inc.
  • Susan Vargo, Head of Live Events and Location-based Experiences, Moonbug
  • George Wade, President, Bay Laurel Partners (moderator)

“It will be an honor to join my esteemed peers on-stage at Licensing Expo as a keynote moderator speaking to a topic that I’m incredibly passionate about,” says George Wade, President, Bay Laurel Partners and keynote moderator. “LBE tells stories through experiences and has the unique ability to bring people together, transcending generations and fanbases. It’s really a remarkable and expressive way for brands to build long-lasting relationships with their audience and reach new consumers – I hope the panel ignites new ideas and spurs continued innovation! I look forward to the keynote and reconnecting with the licensing community this May for much needed face-to-face conversation.”

Anna Knight, SVP of Licensing, Informa Markets, says: “We could not be more excited to share the first 2022 Keynote details with the Licensing Expo community. Keynotes are a cornerstone of Licensing Expo; our expert-led presentations bring to light new ways of doing business in a way that taps into consumer trends and arms the audience with inspiring ideas that will drive business forward in a meaningful way.”

This year’s keynote presentations are strategically designed to arm the licensing industry with actionable insights into the latest trends shaped by changing consumer habits and preferences and how brand licensing can be more strategically used as a marketing tool. The Day 1 keynote will be announced shortly.

In addition to keynote presentations, Licensing Expo and Licensing International offer robust educational programming to provide newcomers and experienced licensing professionals insights into the $292 billion licensing industry, with sessions geared toward arming attendees with new tools to drive business forward. The Licensing U agenda, now live and accessible here, spans a range of topics from the basics of licensing – the new rules of retail, to an exploration into the promising world of NFTs.

Only six weeks away, the event continues to attract new registrants daily – new and notable attendees include Fanatics, Kohl’s, Alibaba Group, Burlington Stores, Kimberly-Clark, Gamestop, Moleskine, Coppel, Hot Topic, Walmart, Hybrid Apparel, Mad Engine, Hallmarks Cards, Bioworld and more.

Learn more about Licensing Expo at


Details of Licensing Expo opening night party released

Licensing Expo, produced in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International, is celebrating the event’s long-awaited in-person return to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this May 24-26.

A highlight of the schedule is the highly anticipated Opening Night Party in Association with ATLUS, sponsored by Banijay Brands and Konami Cross Media NY, which takes place on the first day of Licensing Expo, May 24.

The party kicks off at 6pm, and registered attendees are encouraged to arrive early as capacity is limited, and entrance is granted first-come, first-served. Exhibitors and attendees must be registered to participate in this year’s event and simply need to show their Licensing Expo badge for free access. Registration can be accessed here.

As the party is held at an outside venue, masks are not required for entry. Food and beverages will be available free of charge until the allocated amount is consumed, at which point bar items will become available for purchase.

Anna Knight, SVP of Licensing, Informa Markets, commented: “For the first time, the Opening Night Party is free of charge for all Licensing Expo registrants to encourage everyone to reconnect in person after being apart for three long years. It’s a chance to celebrate our industry’s resilience, see familiar faces, and unwind after a busy first day back at the live event. Licensing Expo is back – we couldn’t be more excited and look forward to an evening of fun and camaraderie.”

“Bringing experiences to life is core to who we are as an industry and the Opening Night Party perfectly embodies just that,” says Kris Kojima, licensing specialist for ATLUS West. “We hope all guests registered for Licensing Expo attend the celebration and uses the party as an opportunity to enjoy being a part of such a creative and dynamic industry. Join us on May 24 at Daylight Beach Club to reconnect with old friends, meet the newest industry visionaries, and have fun!”

Recent registrants for Licensing Expo include Aldi, Aykroyd & Sons, Build a Bear, Danilo, Disguise, Jakks Pacific, Hallmark, Hot Topic, HTI Toys, Inditex, Macy’s, Mad Engine, Panini, Primark, Pyramid International, ROSMAN, Target, Walmart, Zulily and many more.

Sponsorship options are available for anyone looking to secure a space at the party; enquire here. To learn more, visit