Licensing International, the leading trade association for the $315+ billion global brand licensing industry, and the Licensing International Foundation, which supports the education of future licensing leaders, today celebrated the induction of Kathy Ireland and Salvatore LaRocca to the Licensing International Hall of Fame. Held at Gotham Hall in New York City, the 2022 Hall of Fame and Rising Star Awards event also honored the future of brand licensing, recognizing Rising Stars in the licensing business and celebrating the 2022 Licensing International Foundation scholarship recipients.
Kathy Ireland is Chair, CEO, and Chief Designer of kathy ireland Worldwide and a trailblazer in the licensing industry for decades. A Supermodel turned super mogul, as described by Forbes, Ireland founded the global brand that celebrates living and eclectic, individual style in 1993. The solely owned company, which began at the family kitchen table, has since become the highest-ranking woman-owned and individual-owned licensing business in American history.
Presented by Marcus Lemonis, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, TV Reality Star, and Documentary Host, Lemonis remarked “the successful brand collaboration between kiWW and Camping World is driven by Ireland’s personal integrity. She has built a phenomenal company filled with great people, and we’re so proud of this recognition.”
“It is an honor to receive recognition by Licensing International for our work in brand licensing,” says Ireland. “We have so many mentors and clients to thank. John and Marilyn Moretz; Elizabeth Taylor, who taught us so much about building and growing a brand; Jon Carrasco, our Worldwide Creative Director; Stephen Roseberry, our President and CMO; Lee and Linda Mandelbaum, our fashion leaders in New York; Irv Blumkin; Warren Buffett; Clark Linstone; Abe and the Hanan family; Telisa Yancy; Janet Jackson; BMG; and Rona Menashe, our Public Relations Director. We are grateful to work with our incredible clients, whose verticals include home, fashion, entertainment, fintech, insurance, jewelry, and healthcare, and whose shared values help us to fight for human rights around the world.”
Salvatore LaRocca is President, Global Partnerships for the National Basketball Association. In his role, LaRocca oversees the commercial partnerships business for the NBA, WNBA, NBA 2K League, NBA G League, and USA Basketball on a global basis. LaRocca leads a team that structures, negotiates, and manages the league’s global merchandising and marketing partnerships.
“I am honored to be recognized as a member of the Licensing International Hall of Fame class of 2022,” said LaRocca. “Sports bring people together around the world, and licensing facilitates marketing and merchandising partnerships that bring fans closer to the game.”
The Licensing International Hall of Fame is home to the most esteemed global licensing executives of the last three decades, bastions of the industry who have shaped the licensing business. Inductees are selected by a committee of industry executives based on nominations received from the global licensing community at large; the Licensing International Board of Directors reviews all recommendations before making a final selection. Established in 1989, Kathy Ireland and Salvatore LaRocca join industry luminaries including past inductees Martha Stewart, George Lucas, Walt Disney, and Charles Schultz.
In addition to honoring Ireland and LaRocca, the 2022 Hall of Fame event recognized rising talent already making strides in the licensing industry. The event celebrated the six 2022 Rising Star Award recipients as announced last month. In its tenth year, the Rising Star program recognizes young professionals from around the world who have been nominated by their peers and selected by the Rising Star committee members for their contributions to the global brand licensing industry.
Additionally, three students—Lara Kotb, Laura Judit Fekete, and Stefan Sabur—were celebrated as the recipients of the Licensing International Foundation 2022 Scholarship, awarded to accomplished students exploring a career in brand licensing. Kotb and Fekete received the inaugural Alby Amato Scholarships, funded by Mad Engine. This year’s in-person event also included recognition of the 2021 scholarship recipients—Shaina Hershberg, Clay Lute, Daliya Khalikova, and Magali Souffrant.
“We had much to celebrate at this year’s Licensing International Hall of Fame,” said Maura Regan, President of Licensing International. “From revered industry veterans to gifted newcomers, the industry is full of talent and I am continually inspired by their approach to the licensing business and the strides made to move our industry forward.”
Licensing International thanks the generous donors that made the event possible, including platinum sponsors the National Basketball Association, Fanatics, and Paramount.
Nominations for the 2023 Hall of Fame are now open. To learn more about the Licensing International Foundation and support its ongoing mission to educate and inspire the next generation of licensing leaders, visit LicensingInternational.org/About/Foundation.