LIMA UK Rising Stars: Jens Drinkwater

Global Merchandising Services’ licensing manager talks 1D, Joe Wicks and baptisms of fire.

Jens Drinkwater

Licensing Manager, Global Merchandising Services

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…
“We’ve signed One Direction and it’s going to be massive”.

How long in the industry?

10 years at Global but six years specifically working in licensing.

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

In the music industry, be it A&R or a music manager. I was always excited about the thought of working with someone from the ground up and helping them build a successful career and business.

Biggest inspiration in the licensing industry?

The people I work with on a daily basis such as, Barry [Drinkwater] and Vickie [O’Malley]. Being able to learn from such knowledgeable and experienced people with expertise that you can’t buy.

Best thing about your current role?

Seeing ideas become reality and expand our brand’s product portfolios in new and exciting ways.

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

Being part of the One Direction phenomena was incredible, it was a real baptism of fire but it’s hard to pick one. Iron Maiden’s pinball machine with Stern launched this year, also the Joe Wicks Cookware, both of which we’ve been working on for a long time and getting it just right took a lot of work from all involved.

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

As I write this I’m in desperate need of a haircut so I would have to say, Goku.

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

Surprised and delighted.

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

To continue to learn and hopefully build the foundations for long-term opportunities for our clients.

The LIMA UK Rising Star award will be presented as part of The Licensing Awards, which take place on Tuesday September 11 at The Grosvenor Hotel, London.

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