Gifts Today magazine

License This! open for entries

Applications are now open for the competition that gives young brands the chance to break into the lucrative £210billion ($271bn) global licensing industry

And for the 11th year, the Giftware Association’s CEO Sarah Ward is joining the judging panel alongside Danilo’s licensing director Dan Grant and I Like Birds’ co-founder Stuart Cox.

The competition features two categories, Character & Animation and Brand & Design, and three from each will be chosen to pitch against each other in the live final at Brand Licensing Europe, which runs over October 1-3 at ExCel London.

Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association UK MD Kelvyn Gardner is chairman of the judges and he will be joined by Sarah for the first time, along with Victor Caddy, director, trade mark and design partner, at License This! sponsors Wynne-Jones IP.

Victor said: 'It’s a great initiative for start-ups to get a foot in the door to such a thriving industry. Licensing is a crowded space and getting that all important first-deal or first-break is crucial but can take time. License This! gives brand and product innovators the perfect opportunity and platform from which to get noticed.'

On the Character & Entertainment panel the judges are Dan, Sambro licensing director Nikki Samuels, Larkshead Media director Claire Piggott and Julia Redman, M&Co head of buying, while Brand & Licensing has Stuart, Vicki Thomas Associates founder Vicki, This Is Iris owner Sarah Lawrence, Jehane founder Jehane Boden Spiers and Will Steward, The Point 1888 MD.
Stuart is one of the License This! success stories having moved from being an accidental greetings publisher to licensing his designs on products including cards, textiles, homewares and stationery with companies such as Quadrille Publishing, BrownTrout Publishers, The Art File, and My Gifts Trade.

Kelvyn says: '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.

'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!'

Application forms can be found at and the closing date for entries is August 29, with the judging day on September 5 after which the six finalists will be notified.

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