The winners of the 2023 Licensing International Excellence Awards were unveiled last night in a ceremony that brought together industry executives from around the world to celebrate the best of the global brand licensing industry.
The 30 award winners were selected from 201 finalists from across the globe. More than 850 submissions were received, narrowed down by an expert global judging panel and voted on by members of the licensing industry at large.
This year’s Excellence Awards were hosted by Cakewalk Entertainment founder and CEO George Leon and La Panadería President and CEO Maca Rotter. The awards were presented by Alifish, Jazwares, Spaceport, and Spirit.
The Excellence Awards honor innovation and creativity in the licensing community. They spotlight the power of brands to connect with consumers and further a company’s goals; celebrate how licensees develop and bring those products to market; and applaud how retailers highlight licenses on their shelves.
This year’s Excellence Awards featured several new categories to better reflect the constantly evolving nature of the global brand licensing business. New categories included the Most Impactful Service Provider, which was awarded to Octane5, and Best Sustainability Initiative, which was taken home by Goodyear Brake Calipers – FDP Brakes by IMG.
“The Licensing International Excellence Awards are a testament to the power of brands and their ability to inspire products and programs with lasting appeal,” said Maura Regan, President of Licensing International. “It was incredible to gather together with the global brand licensing community to celebrate the industry’s incredible innovation.”
Here are the 2023 Licensing International Excellence Awards winners:
BEST LICENSED PRODUCTS
Apparel, Footwear & Accessories for Corporate Brands — adidas AG – adidas Original Superstar LEGO Shoes
Apparel, Footwear & Accessories for Entertainment Brands — UGG – UGG Sesame Street Collection
Appliances, Housewares & Electronics for Corporate Brands — Smeg – Coca-Cola Refrigerator
Appliances, Housewares & Electronics for Entertainment Brands — Dalstrong – Call of Duty Performance Culinary Collection
Digital: Apps, Software, Video Games & NFTs — Funko – Funko Digital Pop! NFT with Kellogg’s (The Joester Loria Group)
Food or Beverage for Corporate Brands — Mentos/Perfetti Van Melle – Mentos with Fanta
Food or Beverage for Entertainment Brands — Hello Fresh – Buddy the Elf Spaghetti Meal Kit
Health & Beauty Aids — SheGlam – Willy Wonka Collection
Home Décor — Jay Franco and Sons – Hasbro Board Game Blanket
Publishing, Social Expression, Back-to-School — Chronicle Books – LEGO in Focus
Toys, Games, Novelties, Role Play (ages 0-8) — JAKKS Pacific – Mario Kart Ride-on Racer
Toys, Games, Novelties, Role Play (ages 8+) — The LEGO Group – LEGO Ideas The Starry Night with MoMA
BEST LICENSED BRANDS
Art, Design, Museum — Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
Celebrity, Influencer, Fashion — Dolly Parton – Speckled Bird (IMG)
Corporate — Kodak – Eastman Kodak Company
Digitally Native, Gaming, NFT — Minecraft – Microsoft (CAA Brand Management)
Entertainment Animated — Naruto – Shueisha, TV Tokyo, VIZ Media
Entertainment Live Action — Stranger Things – Netflix
Food, Beverage, Restaurant — Coca-Cola – The Coca-Cola Company
Publishing, Stationery, Social Expression — Crayola
Sports, eSports, Collegiate — NFL Players Association
Toy — Squishmallows – Jazwares
Best Experiential or Location-Based Initiative — Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience – Ravenswood Experiences
Best Collaboration: Fashion, Footwear & Accessories — Burberry x Minecraft (CAA Brand Management)
Best Collaboration: HBA, Food & Beverage, Other — Starbucks x Emily in Paris
Best Licensed Promotion — Tiffany & Co. x Andy Warhol Holiday 2022
Best Retailer: Corporate, Lifestyle, Fashion, Sports — Vans – Crayola
Best Retailer: Entertainment, Character — Bloomingdale’s – Bridgerton
Best Sustainability Initiative — Goodyear Brake Calipers – FDP Brakes (IMG)
Most Impactful Service Provider — Octane5