Judges announced for BLE 2018 License This!

With less than one month until entries close for Brand Licensing Europe’s 2018 License This! competition, organiser UBM has announced this year’s judging line up.

Following the introduction of two awards to mark the competition’s 10th anniversary, two panels of judges will be responsible for whittling down the shortlist on 21 September and choosing the two worthy winners at the show in October.

The judges are:

Chair: Kelvyn Gardner – LIMA UK 

Cross category judge: Christina Schiavone – Wynne-Jones

Character & Animation judges  
Dan Grant – Danilo Promotions

Nikki Samuels – Sambro   
Clare Piggott – Larkshead Media 
Julia Redman – M&Co

Steve Manners – CPLG 

Brand & Design judges
Stuart Cox – I Like Birds 
Will Stewart – The Point 1888

Vicki Thomas – Vicki Thomas Associates 
Sarah Lawrence – This is Iris 
Jehane Boden Spiers – Jehane Ltd.

Christina Schiavone, senior trainee patent attorney at Wynne-Jones, commented: “We are thrilled to sponsor the License This! competition at BLE. All brands have intellectual property (IP), regardless of size, and considering how to protect your IP from the very start is so important. Wynne-Jones thrives on supporting entrepreneurship and we’re looking forward to being a part of this year’s judging process and offering both of this year’s License This! winners valuable IP advice and support as they go forward with their licensing ventures into 2019.”

“Nothing motivates me more than enabling exceptional talent to be part of our industry. I will be looking for highly original artwork, beautifully presented and with a clear signature style,” said Jehane Boden Spiers, founder and senior agent, Jehane Ltd.

Sarah Lawrence of This Is Iris added: “License This! is a wonderful opportunity for artists and designers to share their work and be seen by potential partners. It has helped kickstart many fantastic programmes over the years and I am sure that we will see a great many more talented creatives launch their licensing careers through this platform. As judges, we are looking for originality, a stand out collection, with the potential to work across several product categories.”

Applicants can enter this year’s competition (which is sponsored by Wynne-Jones) for free online at https://bit.ly/2tDQdEz. The deadline is 5pm Friday 14 September. 

“License This! is a proven propeller for entrepreneurs to launch themselves in to the licensing industry and a valuable tool to bring fresh, exciting talent into the licensing industry,” said BLE brand director Anna Knight. “BLE would like to say a huge thank you to all of this year’s judges – we’re really excited about the competition’s new format and seeing all of the entrants on judging day next month.”

This year’s two License This! winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2019, one year’s LIMA membership, PR support and advice from a panel of industry experts. For the first time, all finalists will receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynn-Jones. Previous entrants – both winners and finalists – have also signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition.  

“License This! is an exciting competition and an amazing opportunity – a game changer,” said previous finalist and 2018 judge Stuart Cox, founder I Like Birds. “It places largely untested brands right into the heart of BLE, alongside the biggest names in one of the biggest industries on the planet.”

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