LEGO, Hasbro and Microsoft Xbox among second wave speakers at Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit

The LEGO Group, Hasbro, and Microsoft Xbox have been unveiled among the second wave of speakers to take to the stage at this year’s Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit.

They will be joined by the likes of Revlon, Elizabeth Arden, Studiocanal, Chefclub, and Perry Ellis as well as the already announced BBC Studios and Asda for the three-day digital licensing event taking place from June 9th to 11th this year.

The LEGO Group’s Stephanie Freeman, global licensing manager – outbound, and Mark Bezodis, licensing managing director, Perry Ellis International will contribute to an opening day panel session called Brainstorming the future of licensing in retail and vice versa, alongside Penguin Random House and Licensing International MD, Graham Saltmarsh.

Day one of the event will focus on Trends and Retail and the five experienced panellists will cover questions being asked at retail right now, including:

  • Whether and how to pivot online
  • How stocking and selling licensed product could change in the future
  • The benefit of adapting to in-store experiential offerings
  • How to reinvigorate returning customers to bricks and mortar stores
  • The impact digital strategies are having on IP

Bezodis commented: “BL&IS is an important event for the licensing industry because, for many, it’s an opportunity to pause and listen to the pioneers of the industry and the only event which seems to have its finger on the pulse of all things licensing and retail.”

LEGO’s Freeman, added: “I am honoured to join a panel at B&LIS and provide my insights and experiences over my time in licensing and also during the last year. Touchpoints for people within the industry are essential during these times, to ensure we all keep connected and feel a sense of being part of a larger team, and I am looking forward to learning from fellow panellists and it will be great to engage with people I wouldn’t necessarily cross paths with.”

The second day of BL&IS will focus on sustainability and CSR with content curated by Products of Change and speakers from Hasbro, George at Asda, Lyfcycle, DNA Brands and Brands In Limited will address the damaging effects of the fashion industry on the planet, and how the industry is transitioning to a sustainable future.

John Friend, head of Halo and Xbox Consumer Products at Microsoft will join a day three panel alongside Difuzed head of gaming and esports Dan Amos and Scott Macrae, Asda’s new business and partnerships manager.

The summit’s third day takes a deep dive into content and digital transformation, and John Friend’s panel is called Next Level: Why Gaming and Esports is Dominating the Entertainment Leaderboard. He and his fellow panellists will help delegates to understand:

  • The types of games on the market and their relative franchise strength/accessibility to consumer products markets
  • The role of community and evangelism in gaming consumer products
  • Navigating rapid speed of consumption to capitalise on opportunity and maximise longevity
  • Tapping into the potential of streaming

BL&IS is a three-day virtual event that has been designed to help middle-management, business leaders and owners to navigate the changing retail, content and consumer landscape.

Online registration for the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summits is now open at

Early bird discounts of 30 per cent are available until 16 April. A three-day delegate pass at the early bird rate will cost just £175 (£158 for Licensing International members). Qualified retailers are invited to register for free.