License This!, a licensing competition created by Informa Markets’ Global Licensing Group, will make its U.S. debut at Licensing Expo Virtual this year, having previously been introduced at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE). The program will also return to BLE for the 12th consecutive year.
Select illustrators, designers, animators, and product inventors will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas online to a panel of expert judges, and in front of an audience made up of manufacturers, retailers, and brand owners. The winners will get access to a one-on-one consultation with members of the judging panel and regional competition sponsor, a free booth at an upcoming Global Licensing Group trade show, and one-year memberships to both Licensing International and Products of Change Group.
The competition will be comprised of three categories: Character and Animation; Brand and Design; and Inventions and Product Innovations.
The Character and Animation as well as Brand and Design categories are designated for unlicensed brands and properties that aim to use the platform to secure a licensing deal or agency representation. The judges will look for concepts with potential to span multiple consumer product categories. Applicants in these categories tend to be in illustrator-, publishing-, or animation-focused.
The Inventions & Product Innovation category, supported by partner InventHelp in the US and Mojo Nation in Europe, is focused on patented or patent-pending product inventions that would benefit licensing that is either in-bound (i.e. putting a character on it to enhance it) or out-bound to a manufacturer (i.e. wearables item that is licensed by a mass manufacturer from the inventor). Judges will decide based on the invention’s product design uniqueness, brandability of the product, and presentation and pitch of the submission video.
In all three categories, judges will also take sustainability into consideration.
“Licensing is an immensely powerful tool that companies use to extend their brand reach into consumers lives. Licensed products can often inject innovation, creativity, and personality into product lines across categories,” said Warren Schorr, chair of Licensing Expo Virtual and vice president of business development and global licensing at Crayola. “It’s my honor to serve as the Chair of the judging panel and help selected License This! participants navigate the exciting world of brand licensing and new product development.”
Anna Knight, VP of Licensing, Informa markets, said that the aim of the competition is to “drive new artists, illustrators, and product inventors into the industry on a global scale by providing once-in-a-lifetime access to mark their place in the licensing industry and look forward to this year’s roster of creatives.”
“Discovery and creativity are pillars of the Brand Licensing Europe and Licensing Expo trade shows, both of which are foundational to the License This! program,” Knight said.
License This! is free to enter and currently accepting applications.