New to BLE: “Licensing can play a powerful role”

First time BLE exhibitor, Rebellion on how it’s looking to preserve the legacy of franchises such as Sniper Elite and 2000AD, reaching new audiences through consumer products.

A raft of exhibitors will be taking to the floor for the very first time at Brand Licensing Europe this week (4-6 October). catches up with just some of them to find out more on their plans and why they see the event as crucial to their brands’ growth.

Today: Rebellion (stand C234).

Rebellion is the custodian and rights holder for a large number of IP across the history of video games and British comics. Alongside the legendary 2000 AD – featuring Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper – it owns iconic British comics characters like Roy of the Rovers; the original action detective Sexton Blake; supervillain-turned-hero The Spider; the Sniper Elite and Zombie Army game franchises; and the classic Bitmap Brothers titles among others.

“Our aim is to preserve the legacy of these great licences, to see them bought to life in exciting ways and to reach new audiences particularly in the realms of consumer products, merchandise and experiential partnerships,” says Lewis Alderson, consumer products and ecommerce manager at Rebellion (Stand C234). “We are looking to meet with companies at BLE who share our love and vision for our IP to discuss possible partnerships and opportunities.”

Lewis believes there is huge potential to be exploited in terms of licensing, with the company at the early stages of the journey. He continues: “I think the biggest challenge facing the licensing industry is relevance and agility. Basically, about keeping pace. Relevance in that you want to create the products and experiences that consumers want, but at the same time, the technology is constantly evolving, and the concept of entertainment is being pushed more frequently. It’s like hitting a moving target.

“And agility in terms of the time it takes to get a product to market. This can fluctuate massively with merchandise in the games space as an example. A triple-A title can take years to launch to market, in which time the licensing market may have changed considerably. But then capitalising on a success story, especially in the indie game market, can mean not being able to get consumer products out there quick enough through the traditional supply chains. Licensing can play a powerful role in the overall experience of a brand or IP. It’s not just about wearing the thing or playing with a toy, but it’s about living it.”

This feature originally appeared in the autumn 2023 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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