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LIMA UK Rising Stars: Katie Ball

We chat to BBC Worldwide’s retail partnerships manager about her licensing life.

Katie Ball,

Retail Partnerships Manager, BBC Worldwide

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

A happy accident! I first interned within the consumer products team at Nickelodeon six-ish years ago. After graduation I spent a year at a marketing agency and then boomeranged back to Nickelodeon, before moving BBC Worldwide just over a year ago.

How long in the industry?

Four (ish) years so far.

When I was growing up, I had no idea that ‘licensing’ was an industry, so I wanted to be…

I was never lucky enough to be one of those people who ‘knew’ what they wanted to be when they grew up. I’ll let you know once I get there!

Biggest inspiration in the licensing industry?

I believe you are only as good as the people around you and I’ve been lucky to have been surrounded by incredible people throughout my career, from managers, colleagues and industry peers.

Best thing about your current role?

The variety and diversity of my role. There is a never a dull day at BBC which keeps you on your toes, from working across preschool to adult properties, a whole variety of product categories and an entire cross-section of retailers.

What are you most proud of within your licensing career to date?

I have many proud moments to choose from – from working on the PAW Patrol CP launch, the Argos ‘Everyone’s A Winner’ retail campaign in a previous role and everything in the pipeline at BBC including the upcoming re-launch of Doctor Who with the first ever female Doctor. Also… tenuously career related but I relish any opportunity to talk about it. Earlier in the year, I completed 6 marathons in 6 days for The licensing industry’s charity – The Light Fund – alongside two colleagues (Jason Easy and Ben Lowe). The support we received from across the industry was phenomenal and I will be eternally grateful and humbled.

Licensed character you can most identify with (and why)?

Wonder Woman (ha!)… Although could also be described as any one of the Seven Dwarves depending on what mood I’m in.

What were your first thoughts when you were revealed as a nominee for the LIMA UK Rising Star Award?

I was chuffed! A huge thanks, to my colleagues who took the time to nominate me, I’m thrilled to have been shortlisted and I look forward to joining the other shortlisted candidates at The Licensing Awards.

The adage goes, once you enter the licensing industry, you never really leave… what are your short-term goals for your career in licensing (say, the next two years)?

To keep delivering more. It’s a really exciting time at the Beeb and there’s huge opportunity across the portfolio. I am passionate about both brands and retail and am always looking to develop myself and learn as much as I can along the way. I better get a move on…

The LIMA UK Rising Star award will be presented as part of the Licensing Awards, which take place on Tuesday September 12 at The Grosvenor Hotel, London.

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