BLE License This! competition now open

Entries to this year’s edition of the popular BLE pitch competition are now open

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 15.05.2019 | Events

BLE License This! competition now open thumbnail

Applications are now being accepted for Brand Licensing Europe’s 2019 License This! competition, the live pitch showdown which helps entrepreneurial brand owners break into the licensing industry.

Young brands and established property owners who are new to licensing can enter two award categories: Character and Animation and Brand and Design. From the entries, six finalists will be chosen at the judging day on 5 September to pitch against one another live at BLE, which takes place between 1-3 October at ExCeL.

Prospective entrants can download an application form.

Licensing International UK MD Kelvyn Gardner chairs the awards, now in its 11th year, and welcomes two new judges to the panel for 2019: Giftware Association chief executive Sarah Ward and Victor Caddy, Director, Trademark and Design Partner at Wynne-Jones IP, the License This! sponsor, both of whom bring diverse expertise to the sessions.

“Licensing is a crowded space and getting that all important first-deal or first-break is crucial but can take time,” says Victor. “License This! gives brand and product innovators the perfect opportunity and platform from which to get noticed."

Both awards will be overseen by a panel of experts. Dan Grant, Director of Licensing, Danilo Promotions; Nikki Samuels, Licensing Director, Sambro; Clare Piggott, Director, Larkshead Media; and Julia Redman, Head of Buying, M&Co will evaluate entrants to the Character and Entertainment award, while the Brand & Design award applicants will be overseen by Stuart Cox, founder, I Like Birds; Vicki Thomas, owner, Vicki Thomas Associates; Sarah Lawrence, owner, This is Iris; Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, Jehane; and Will Stewart, Managing Director, The Point 1888

“What started as a bit of a blue sky idea a few years ago has turned into a highly-respected and genuinely valuable showcase for new licensing talent,” says Kelvyn.

“We’ve seen winners and runners-up from previous years get picked up by agencies to represent them, and the programmes built are now themselves winning excellent sales and also licensing awards.

“As this news spreads, I expect the breadth and standard of entries to continue to build in quality, and I’m excited to be part of the 2019 contest. Don’t miss the live final at BLE 2019, it’s going to be great!”

The two winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2020, one year’s LIMA membership, PR support and advice from a panel of industry experts. Previous entrants – both winners and finalists – have successfully signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition.

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