BLE 2022 continues to take shape as more initiatives unveiled

As the countdown continues to this year’s Brand Licensing Europe in September, the team has revealed a number of new initiatives this week – including a special focus on France, plus the launch of the 2022 Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition.

In partnership with Licensing International, BLE is launching an annual Country Spotlight initiative to highlight a different European territory at the event each year.

BLE attracts exhibitors and attendees from more than 30 European countries and the Country Spotlight initiative enables a spotlight to be placed on each of these markets by bringing to the forefront their latest brands, trends and IPs.

The initiative will start with a focus on France, where the licensing market in 2021 was valued at $6.7bn, an increase of 2.6%. The focus will include an overview of the French market – delivered by Licensing International ahead of the event – in-depth previews of French brands, licensees and retailers participating at BLE, in-person networking at the French-themed Opening Night Party and the chance to meet with many exhibiting French brands and agents.

These will include Tour de France & Dakar, Alpha Group, Asterix, Bandao Namco Europe, ChefClub, Crunchyroll, Cyber Group Studios, French Football Federation, Le Petit Prince Licensing, Millimages, Nelvana, TF1 Licensing, Ubisoft and Xilam Animation among others.

Attendees will also be invited to a drinks’ reception hosted by BLE and Licensing International France at the Motul Cafe on Tuesday 20 September at 4.30pm, to officially launch France Licensing Day which takes place on the 9 March 2023 in Paris.

Meanwhile, entries are now open for BLE’s Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition, which boosts the profile of new brands, illustrators, inventors and product designers and helps them to successfully break into the $300 billion global licensing market.

Entrants are invited to enter one of three categories.

The first two are aimed at unlicensed brands and properties – often with a focus on illustration, publishing or animation – which are keen to secure a licensing deal or agency representation. They are:

  • Kelvyn Gardner License This! Character & Animation
  • Kelvyn Gardner License This! Brand & Design

 

When judging, the panel looks for new creative concepts, which have the potential to inspire multiple product categories. The winners receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2023.

Additionally, student designers and inventors are invited to enter a third award category, which made its successful debut in 2021, for the first time:

  • Product Design in partnership with Mojo Nation

 

From 2022, the Product Design category will open to students from further education or university level to enter. Working alongside local universities and schools, students will be competing with one another to showcase innovation in toy design.

BLE will partner with Aardman once again and students will be asked to use the studio’s Wallace & Gromit IP as inspiration. Applicants will be asked to submit concepts based around the following entry guidelines:

  • Concept must be a Wallace & Gromit branded toy with an emphasis on STEM Learning
  • Entry must focus on technology and engineering, which are strong themes from the Wallace & Gromit adventures
  • Careful consideration must be given to sustainable materials and manufacturing processes
  • The toy must have an RRP below £30

 

All three categories are asked to take sustainability into consideration and the finalists will pitch to the judges in a live final at BLE on Thursday 22 September.

Brand Licensing Europe runs from 20-22 September at London’s ExCeL. Visitor registration is open and can be completed via this link.

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