BLE unveils key changes for 2021 License This! competition

The initiative welcomes new inventor category as entries open for 2021, while it will also make its US debut.

Brand Licensing Europe’s License This! competition opens for entries today (7 June), as it reveals a new third award category and its expansion into the US market.

License This! has been helping brands and designers to break into the licensing industry for over a decade and now, thanks to the launch of the all-new Inventions & Product Innovations category in partnership with Mojo Nation, it will provide a valuable springboard for inventors keen to break into the sector, too.

The competition will debut in the US market this year at Licensing Expo Virtual, with the same three categories open to entrants from both Europe and the US:

1.    License This! Character & Animation
2.    License This! Brand & Design
3.    License This! Inventions & Product Innovations

The Character & Animation and Brand & Design categories are both aimed at unlicensed brands and properties looking to use the platform to secure a licensing deal or agency representation. Judges are looking for new creative concepts which have the potential to spread across multiple product categories. Typically, applicants are illustrator, publishing, or 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.

Judging is based on the invention’s product design uniqueness, brand-ability of the product, and presentation and pitch of the submission video. All three categories will take sustainability into consideration for the very first time.

The European judging panel will be chaired by Start Licensing md, Ian Downes, who takes over from licensing industry legend Kelvyn Gardner, who sadly passed away at the start of the year.

“Discovery and creativity are pillars of the Brand Licensing Europe and Licensing Expo trade shows, both of which are foundational to the License This! programme,” commented Anna Knight, vp of licensing at Informa Markets. “By expanding the programme geographically and demographically we want to drive new artists, illustrators and product inventors into the industry on a global scale providing them with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to mark their place in the licensing industry.

“I also want to take this opportunity to welcome Ian as our new chairman in Europe. Filling Kelvyn’s shoes isn’t going to be easy, but we know he’ll do an amazing job.”

Ian added: “License This! is a great initiative and is now firmly established as part of the licensing calendar. Licensing needs new ideas and fresh creativity to flourish. License This! provides a great platform for people to engage with the licensing world and to start building a network within it. I am delighted to be involved in the competition again and look forward to reviewing the entries. I am sure there will be some exciting new concepts to review. I thoroughly recommend it to the creative community.”

The winners from each category will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2022, one-on-one consultation with members of the judging panel, and free one year memberships to Licensing International and Products of Change.

Entry into License This! is free and open now online by clicking here.

Closing date is Monday 11 October at 5pm.

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