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Licensing International UK Rising Star 2020 Nominees: Jessica Nioncel

We find out more about The Pokémon Company International’s licensing manager for GAS.

Jessica Nioncel,

Licensing Manager GAS (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), The Pokémon Company International

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

I started in France in an agency where I worked on promotions with various licensing brands. I then knew I needed to keep working in the licensing industry, so I joined Canal Toys where I worked as licensing coordinator. I joined the Pokémon Company International three and a half years ago as a licensing associate. Having been promoted to licensing manager, I’m very proud of everything I have achieved so far and I really enjoy my role.

How long in the industry?

I’ve been working in the licensing industry for the past six years (agency, licensee and licensor sides).

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

A fire fighter.

Biggest inspiration in the licensing industry?

I have a couple of people in the UK industry that I would like to praise. Harris McQueen was my first manager at The Pokémon Company International and I learned a lot from him. Then Jade Kellman joined the team and she taught me so much as well. They have achieved so much in the UK that I have been really inspired by them.

Also, the licensing team here at The Pokémon Company International have also achieved so much that they are all a big inspiration to me and I thank them all for the time and effort they spent teaching and encouraging me.

Best thing about your current role?

I love the fact that my role allows me to work on so many aspects of licensing. Being able to work with different licensees across so many product categories, creating ranges, working with retailers on in store activations, securing fashion collaborations, FMCG and promotions is very rewarding. No two days are the same at Pokémon!

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

The thing I am most proud of in my career to date is the cross-category Selfridges activation I worked on in 2019, to coincide with the launch of our new master toy programme. Working with the Selfridges team as well as licensees Character Options, Sprayground, Blueprint, etc on pulling this together in a such short space of time was a great achievement – even more so as it was my first retail execution with Pokémon. To see the end result and the enjoyment from the children who attended the launch event was brilliant.

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

I think the licensed character I can most identify with would be Pikachu. Pikachu is very loyal and always up to help its friends. It is also super curious about the world!

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

I was super happy and very flattered to have been nominated. I wish the very best of luck to all the other nominees and am really looking forward to the event!

The Licensing International UK Rising Star award will be presented as part of The Licensing Awards, which take place virtually on Wednesday December 16. The awards are free to attend – simply click on this link to register.

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