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Licensing International UK Rising Star 2021 Nominees: Jessica Campbell

We find out more about NFL’s licensing manager, Europe.

Jessica Campbell, licensing manager, Europe, NFL

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

I always enjoyed weekend and part-time work from age 15, until I left college, so earning money and continuing along a business career route seemed like natural progression to me. I didn’t take the uni route but secured a fantastic 18-month Business Apprenticeship with Unilever, based at its HQ in Leatherhead. Taken directly under the wing of Julie McCleave, global licensing director, as her licensing executive UK and given the scope to grow so much in the team, I loved it. Learning the business, building strong partnerships, working alongside the brand teams, getting involved with key launches and being increasing amounts of responsibility all the time, my four years at Unilever certainly paved my route into the licensing industry.

How long in the industry?

7 years.

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

Apparently in my early years, a ice cream lady, but as an early teenager, I imagined being a PE teacher.

Biggest inspiration in the licensing industry?

While Julie McCleave certainly inspired my growth and passion for the licensing industry, Salha Latif (NFL), senior director, international consumer products has inspired me further through her knowledge, intuition, and achievements. Salha has allowed me the scope and freedom to be myself, always seen the potential and to take my position from strength to strength.

Best thing about your current role?

So many things, but certainly the challenge of managing Europe, the enjoyment of building lasting business relationships and strong licensing partnerships with the potential to grow the NFL always – that never goes away. The constant learning curve of sports licensing and the dynamics of keeping up with the changes and swerves that are thrown at us, then coming out successfully the other side. And let’s not forget the excitement of executing the event-retail, alongside the NFL London Games, a real highlight. In summary – never a dull moment.

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

The most recent deal with Missguided was such an exciting innovation; to be providing a women’s only fashion line of the NFL never seen before in Europe. I am also always so proud of the NFL event-retail during the games, recognising my partners achievements throughout the season – nothing beats seeing your brand come to life across retail.

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

The Powerpuff Girls, all of them! Blossom, I have the leadership; Bubbles, loving life and laughter; and Buttercup, tough, when she needs to be.

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

I have attended The Licensing Awards year after year, so when I heard that I was nominee for the UK Rising Star Award, and that this had come from a licensing industry professional, it meant the world to me.

Biggest lesson that you’ve learnt this year?

Like many of us to never take life for granted, find more pleasure in the simple things, be grateful for the people around you and make the best of every opportunity that comes your way in life.

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

I heard this a long time ago and didn’t believe it but seven years in, I still see exciting times ahead. I still believe that licensing is a hugely powerful marketing tool and for now, having stood by each other over this incredibly difficult time, I would like to take my immediate future and career forward with NFL and build a strong team around me.

The Licensing International UK Rising Star award will be presented as part of The Licensing Awards 2021, which is taking place on Tuesday 14 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

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