Host of new industry faces welcomed to the judging panel for 2020 competition; entry deadline is August 27.
Brand Licensing Europe has opened entries for its annual License This! competition, which gives young brands and designers a much-needed leg up into the world of licensing and brand extension.
This year’s judges are on the hunt for fresh, exciting new blood across two award categories: Character & Animation and Brand & Design. To qualify, entrants can hail from anywhere in the world, but they must be unsigned: not working with an agent or have any retail deals in place.
The finalists will be chosen on September 11 by two judging panels, including a bunch of new faces critiquing the Character & Animation category: Asda’s head of buying Ruth Golightly, GB eye’s head of licensing Emily Aldridge, C21 Kids editor Nico Franks and Start Licensing founder Ian Downes.
This year’s two License This! winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2021, one year’s Licensing International membership, PR support and invaluable advice from the panel of industry experts. In addition, all finalists will receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynne-Jones.
Previous entrants – both winners and finalists – have successfully signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition and are championing fellow entrepreneurs to sign up.
Drew Bristow, who was a joint winner in 2019 with his Carrot and Toast brand (pictured with former Licensing International UK md, Kelvyn Gardner), said: “Stop thinking about it and do it! You’ve got nothing to lose, and the whole world to gain. What are you waiting for? If you feel like you’ve got a great brand or property idea and want the world to know about it, there’s no better way to get it in front of the right people.”
This year’s judges are confirmed as:
- Sarah Ward, ceo, Giftware Association
- Victor Caddy, director and trademark & design attorney, Wynne-Jones
- Kirsty Barr, client services manager, Wynne-Jones
Character & Animation award
- Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo
- Clare Piggott, md, Larkshead Media
- Ruth Golightly, head of buying, Asda
- Emily Aldridge, head of licensing, GB eye
- Ian Downes, director, Start Licensing
- Nico Franks, editor, C21 Kids
Brand & Design award
- Stuart Cox, owner, I Like Birds
- Vicki Thomas, owner, Vicki Thomas Associates
- Sarah Lawrence, director, This is Iris
- Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, Jehane
- Will Stewart, founder and md, The Point.1888
The Point.1888’s Will Stewart, who is a returning judge, commented: “License This! has never been more important. Every industry needs new young brands to be nurtured to build the opportunities of the future. There will be tonnes of home working or furloughed designers who have been doodling over the last couple of months.
“Be brave and submit your work – the exposure you get, the feedback you get and the confidence you will get are vital. Every year, the quality improves, and what’s really impressed me is when designers come back with tweaks based on the previous year’s feedback. Last year’s winner Drew Bristow is a great example of this.”