Applications now open for 2019 BLE License This! competition

Applications are now being accepted for Brand Licensing Europe’s 2019 License This! competition, which helps entrepreneurial brand owners to break into the $271 billion global licensing industry

  • Closing date for entries: 29 August 2019
  • Giftware Association’s Sarah Ward and Wynne-Jones’ Victor Caddy join judging panel

Now in its 11thyear, the License This! competition welcomes two new judges on to its panel for 2019 – Giftware Association chief executive Sarah Ward, and Victor Caddy, director, trade mark & design partner, at License This! sponsor Wynne-Jones IP.

The competition features two award categories: Character & Animation and Brand & Design. There is no limit to the number of brands who enter, but 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. The application form is at

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. 

This year’s judges have been confirmed as:

  • Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, LIMA UK (chair)
  • Sarah Ward, CEO, Giftware Association


Character & Entertainment award                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

  • Dan Grant, director of licensing, Danilo Promotions
  • Nikki Samuels, licensing director, Sambro                                                
  • Clare Piggott, director, Larkshead Media
  • Julia Redman, head of buying, M&Co


Brand & Design award                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

  • Stuart Cox, founder, I Like Birds
  • Vicki Thomas, owner, Vicki Thomas Associates                                                         
  • Sarah Lawrence, owner, This is Iris                                                
  • Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, Jehane  
  • Will Stewart, managing director, The Point 1888


LIMA UK managing director and License This! chair Kelvyn Gardner said: “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!”

License This! sponsor Wynne-Jones IP’s director, trade mark & design partner, Victor Caddy added: “We are delighted to sponsor BLE’s License This! competition once again. 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.”

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