BLE 2019: A new era of Brand Licensing in Europe

Brand Licensing Europe is the gateway to more than 7,800 manufactures and retailers, 260 leading brand owners, as well as a long line of licensees and visitors to the European market. Debuting at ExCeL London this year, BLE 2019 marks a new era for the 360-degree licensing experience, bringing hundreds of exhibitors together on one floor and offering more to the licensing community than ever before. License Global takes a look at the additional draws to BLE, which takes place Oct. 1-3.

AAA Activation: Gaming and Esports

It’s a universal truth that most AAA game titles inspire a world of licensed collaborations. But when you consider the adaptation of how games or developers engage their consumers, or how the rise of esports is well on its way to creating a $1 billion dollar industry in its own right, the sheer scale of video game brand licensing becomes clear.

Partnering with PowerStation Studios, the Character & Entertainment zone at BLE will play host to a vibrant, interactive gaming and esports activation, reflecting the growing power of the video game market. The activation will offer illustrative murals, graphic timelines with hidden AR triggers for extra Easter eggs and tons of interactive content to showcase the latest licensing initiatives in gaming. For those looking to stay in the loop, Day 3 even offers a keynote insight into esports trends.

Going Beyond the Book: Publishing

The publishing industry often encompasses the biggest licensing properties known to consumers. From picking up your own live illustrations from Adam Hargreaves, illustrator and author of titles in the Mr. Men Little Miss series, to attending a Q&A session with Terry Deary, author of the Horrible Histories book series, Beyond the Book brings together both established and up-and-coming authors, so you can experience the potential of the $18.3 billion publishing sector firsthand.

Homes with History: Heritage x Interiors

The heritage industry is changing. Its old, stuffy reputation has faded thanks to the incredible collaborations only centuries of expertise and art could create. As the Brands & Lifestyle zone grows, BLE’s first Heritage x Interiors area has been created to reflect the trendy new lifestyle options of heritage brands.

While we can’t give too much away before the grand opening, brands like the V&A, Natural History Museum, Style Library and the Van Gogh Museum have trendsetting reveals that will make BLE visitors want to start redecorating their home.

License Global Theatre: A New School of Thought

Join the collective industry think tank at the License Global Theatre, offering an extensive list of seminars, presentations, panels, demonstrations and keynotes daily.

Watch round-table discussions as the thought leaders of licensing weigh in on pressing topics, or change your perspective with expert-driven talks from all verticals, across all levels of business.

Covering everything from Heritage brands to esports, sustainability and retail, the License Global Theatre illustrates the modern landscape and future of brand licensing.

Enter the Sports Zone

This is BLE’s largest collection of governing sports bodies to date. The exclusive collection of champions–including world-famous teams Juventus, Arsenal, FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, to name a few–will be onsite to discuss game plans for 2020. Discuss the ideal brand collaborations with FIFA before hopping over the aisle to tackle Manchester City. With heavyweight brands in one venue, the sky is the limit.

New Retail Program

Attending retailers will enjoy show content designed especially for them. They are invited to start each day with an informal breakfast briefing pre-show, outlining retail-relevant highlights to look out for. The new Retail Trends Lounge will host sessions putting consumer behavior in the spotlight and offering insight into everything from e-commerce to experiential shopping. Daily tours of the Gaming & Esports Activation will also be available and retailers will have plenty of time between sessions to shop the floor for the latest brands available for license.

With more space, an expansive floor and both new and returning exhibitors, the debut of BLE at ExCeL London is an evolution of Europe’s biggest and best licensing tradeshow. With five more years confirmed at the venue, BLE will continue developing an amazing event experience.

To register to BLE for FREE, visit the Brand Licensing Europe website.

This article comes from the Sept./Oct. issue of License Global. Read the full issue online now! 


Escape LIVE announces ‘Peaky Blinders’ escape experiences

Escape Live has partnered with Endemol Shine Group to open two new escape rooms inspired by the television series “Peaky Blinders.”

The two new escape experiences are “The Raid” and “Double Cross.” Both rooms have been designed based on storylines from the show. The activities come as Escape Live Birmingham relaunches its breakout area with a licensed bar and 1920s décor.

“We are really looking forward to getting the doors open to our new establishment and the ‘Peaky Blinders’ escape rooms,” says Jas Sodhi, managing director, Escape Live. “A lot of work has gone into making both rooms as authentic to the show as possible, and we are looking forward to both ‘Peaky Blinders’ fans and escape room enthusiasts getting into the rooms and experiencing it for themselves.

The partnership follows other live event activations for the “Peaky Blinders” brand. Earlier this year, Endemol Shine Group launched a festival and race day event inspired by the series.

“‘Peaky Blinders’ fans love to participate in events and experiences that make them feel part of the show,” says Jane Smith, group director, brand licensing and gaming, Endemol Shine Group. “We are delighted to bring fans a unique adventure with these first official escape rooms in partnership with Escape Live.”



BLE Countdown: Meet some of the exhibitors returning to Brand Licensing Europe

As we prepare for Europe’s premier licensing event, Brand Licensing Europe, we’re continuing our deep dive into the show’s extensive brand portfolio. This time, we are taking a look at some of the big names returning to BLE for 2019. Here are some of the big players appearing at this year’s event:

The Point.1888 (stand C380)

The Point.1888 returns to BLE for the third year in a row. A leading licensing agency in Europe, the company counts top brands in its portfolio including Team GB, Mumsnet and Katie Alice. Speaking with License Global earlier this year, Will Stewart, founder, The Point.1888, said BLE is key for his agency because it provides an excellent platform for networking.

“They’re vital for successful licensing partnerships,” says Stewart. “We’ve found loads of clients and customers in the past, but the real opportunity is the random walk-on out of a thousand meetings. That little gem can help you achieve something really special, so if you weren’t there, you would miss that.”

The Emoji Company (stand C242) 

The Emoji Company has become a licensing industry juggernaut over the years. Over the past six years, the company has won various awards for its work with licensees and has been named in License Global’s Top 150 Global Licensors list.

In 2019, emoji has inked a slew of international partnerships. In the lead up to BLE, the company has announced deals with Watt’s Chile, Atlantis Aquaventure and IMPS.

Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products (stand B160)

Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products is an icon in the kids’ television sector. The company is responsible for popular properties including JoJo Siwa, “Blue’s Clues,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and the recently acquired “Garfield” brand. On the licensing front, Viacom Nickelodeon has built a strong collection of licensees in nearly every product category.

Ahead of this year’s BLE event, the company has announced unique partners for its brands including a Betsey Johnson x JoJo Siwa collaboration, “Spongebob Squarepants” Timberland boots and “Good Burger” pop-up.

Juventus F.C. (stand D382)

Juventus F.C. is one of the premier football clubs in Europe. Based in Turin, Piedmont, Italy, the team has built a robust licensing program based on its winning roster. Just last year, Juventus inked a four-year deal with football icon Cristiano Ronaldo.

In licensing, Juventus has won deals with Konami to bring the club to the virtual world of video games via Pro Evolution Soccer 2020. It has also recently renewed its deal with brand management agency IMG.

Activision Blizzard (stand D300)

Activision Blizzard is one of the biggest names in gaming and esports. The company is responsible for AAA titles including “World of Warcraft,” “Overwatch” and “Call of Duty.” As a leading video game maker, the company has been able to turn its properties into licensing and esports winners successfully.

The company has recently inked successful partnerships with PepsiCo and Kellogg.


Global Icons to extend the NOKIA brand

Global Icons has been appointed as the exclusive brand licensing agency for Nokia.

The agency will support Nokia’s brand partnerships business by extending the brand into new consumer categories. As part of the assignment, Global Icons will establish a worldwide licensing program for Nokia in the strategic consumer electronics categories.

“Global Icons are proud to be working with Nokia on this journey to further extend its successful brand licensing program,” says David Williams, managing director, Global Icons Europe. “Our extensive experience will allow us to bring industry leaders to the table that possess the innovative technology to deliver engaging Nokia-branded product experiences that people associate with the brand.”

Nokia joins Global Icons clients such as Hostess and Turtle Wax.


Betsey Johnson designs deal with Jojo Siwa

Fashion label Betsey Johnson and Nickelodeon star JoJo Siwa are partnering for a limited-edition clothing and accessories line.

Siwa’s personality and unique style inspire the collection, which will include dresses, skirts, bombers and backpacks priced between $32 to $68. The collection will be available exclusively at Bloomingdale’s retail locations and online starting Sept. 30.

“Betsey Johnson and JoJo Siwa make the perfect combination,” says Jose Castro, senior vice president, soft lines and global fashion collaborations, Betsey Johnson. “Both have big, colorful personalities and embrace their individuality and passion for life. This collaboration incorporates many of the colors, silhouettes and icons that have become a signature look for both of these talented personas, and the collection will inspire fans to live life boldly and let their style shine bright.”

The line comes as JoJo Siwa travels JoJo Siwa travels North America as part of a musical tour. The D.R.E.A.M. tour is expected to hit 80-cities across the U.S. and Canada.


40 Things to See at Brand Licensing Europe 2019

BLE 2019, 1-3 October, ExCeL London –

1. Embrace this year’s multiple themes on publishing, gaming and interiors by attending our three live activations. Go to entrance N1 for Beyond the Book, N4 for The Arcade and N5 for Heritage x Interiors.

2. Uncover the vast potential of publishing licensing by taking a visit to Beyond the Book on stand D120 featuring over 15 successful product ranges from Beano, PJ Masks, Guess How Much I Love You, Ladybird, Barbapapa, Mr Men & Little Miss, Tara Duncan, Elmer the Elephant, Horrible Histories, Moomin, Miffy, Paddington, Thomas & Friends, The World of David Walliams, Beast Quest, The Gruffalo & Bing

3. With more places to eat, drink and sit down than ever before, grab a map and get your bearings as soon as you arrive. Visit the Character & Entertainment Bar on stand D200, the Van Gogh Museum Bar on stand D400, the Interiors Café on stand F462 or the BLE Café on stands B101 and B120. You can also find loads of seating across the back row of the show from stands F121 to F401.

4. Discover the vast array of opportunities in gaming and esports licensing with our live and interactive activation, The Arcade, on stand D280 brought to you by PowerStation Studios.

5. Find out how toy licensing can recover its sparkle with our expert panel featuring NBC Universal, Viacom Nickelodeon CP, V-Tech Electronics, Moose Toys and The Entertainer – License Global Theatre from 12.30-1pm on Tuesday 1st October

6. Take a walk to Heritage x Interiors activation on stand F460 for inspiration on how to take your brand into the luxury and interiors market with room sets from the V&A, Style Library, Van Gogh Museum and the Natural History Museum.

7. Get a sneak peak of next year’s BLE theme by visiting Fresh off the Runway in each of our 5 visitor entrances – N1, N2, N3, N4 & N5

8. Make sure you attend LIMA’s very popular “intro to licensing” sessions at 9.30am on day one and day three in the Licensing Global Theatre

9. Be in prime position for Europe’s biggest character parade taking place TWICE this year at 11am on day one and 10.30am on day two – rumour has it you may see close to 100 characters over the two days!

10. Take your seat for the first BLE keynote on Wednesday 2nd October at 12pm in the License Global Theatre. Featuring the best of British animation including Mikael Shields from Acamar Films, Michael Rose from Magic Light Pictures, Oli Hyatt from blue-zoo productions, Allison Watkins from Coolabi and Sean Clarke from Aardman Animations.

11. Grab a seat in the License Global Lounge on stand E200 to meet the team, read your copy of the Official Show Dailies and check out the ‘License Global Edit’ offering you an exclusive first glimpse of next year’s BLE theme

12. Visit Beyond the Book on stand D120 at 10am on Tuesday for live drawing with Adam Hargreaves of Mr Men & Little Miss fame – then pop over to the Sanrio stand on B141 to discover more

13. Make sure you take a selfie with our wonderful characters as you get off the train at Custom House DLR station…there are plenty of them to welcome you to this year’s BLE!

14. Need help navigating ExCeL and our new layout? Pick up a z-card at each of the show entrances, speak to a BLE team member or visit the Information Desk outside the N5 visitor entrance.

15. Check out License This! 2018 winners, “Oddcats!” by Zara Picken on stand B466 and “Animals” by Sarah Burman Designs on stand B465

16. Go through ExCeL visitor entrances N4 & N5 to visit this year’s Brands & Lifestyle Zone and Art, Design & Image Zones with more brands on display than ever!

17. Visit Beyond the Book on stand D120 at 2pm on Tuesday for a Q&A with Terry Deary, author of Horrible Histories

18. Visit The Arcade on stand D280 at 3pm on Tuesday & Wednesday and 2pm on Thursday for exclusive tours of this live and interactive gaming & eSports activation delivered by PowerStation Studios

19. Hear our exclusive second keynote from on the eSports phenomenon at 11.45 on Thursday featuring Difuzed, GAME & more in the License Global Theatre

20. Dust off your trainers and enter the astro-turfed Sports Zone next to the License Global Theatre featuring the biggest line-up of sports exhibitors ever including first-timers Inter Milan, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, Federacao Portuguesa de Futebol, Olympique de Marseille and Rugby Australia.

21. Grab a drink and something to eat in the Van Gogh Museum Bar on stand D400 and experience a heritage brand truly come to life before your eyes

22. Visit our biggest ever collection of gaming exhibitors including first-timers Nintendo (E220) and Difuzed (E280) as well as Activision-Blizzard (D300), Sega (A281), Pokemon (D260), Capcom (C321), Ubisoft (B241), Bandai Namco (C202), Sybo Games (C302), Rovio (B140)

23. Don’t miss the return of the hugely popular panel led by Richard Pink focused on navigating the future of retail including a stellar line-up of speakers from Warner Bros, ASDA, The Point. 1888, Rubie’s & Fat Face in the License Global Theatre at 1.15pm on day two

24. Check out the BLE official matchmaking service and book your meetings in advance of attending the show – a must-do for any brand new visitors or exhibitors.

25. Visit Beyond the Book on stand D120 at 2pm on Wednesday for a Q&A with Charlotte Reed of May the Thoughts Be With You, and previous BLE License This! Winner

26. Looking to rest your weary feet? Head to the Interiors Café on stand F462 and get a sneak peek through the window (literally) of some fabulous room sets on display in Heritage x Interiors on stand F460.

27. Be prepared for the phenomenon that is Formula E coming to London ExCeL in 2020 by visiting their licensing agent, TSBA, on stand A380

28. Make sure you visit our largest collection of heritage brands ever including first-timers Yale University (B432), Royal Horticultural Society (B366), Style Library (D362) as well as the V&A, Natural History Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, Van Gogh Museum, Science Museum and more…

29. Check out our big screen outside the entrance to ExCeL and our 17 digital screens running through the ExCeL boulevard for trailers, animations, designs & newly launched properties all being showcased at this year’s BLE

30. Looking to find out about the latest trends impacting retail? Visit the Retail Trends Lounge on stand A440 and hear sessions from IMRG, Trend Bible, The Insights People & more. Sessions open to non-retailers and full programme on the BLE website

31. Head over to the Novotel London ExCeL from 5pm on Wednesday for complimentary drinks at the Global Licensing Group Party. Meet the team behind BLE, Licensing Expo & License Global as well as the MDs from Licensing International’s chapters from around the world.

32. Visit the Art, Design & Image Zone through visitor entrance N5 for a collection of some of the finest art, galleries, imagery and design all primed for usage on your next licensing campaign

33. Use the BLE Matchmaking Service to book meetings with more than 65 first-time exhibitors including Difuzed, Sutikki, ZAG Studios, RSPCA, Boatrocker Studios, Royal Horticultural Society, Olympique de Marseille, Evolution, Hamsta World, Style Library, Lady Geraldine Designs, Rugby Australia, Sarah Lovell Art & Nintendo

34. Make sure you’ve booked your ticket for the Licensing International BLE Official Party at the Museum of Docklands on the Wednesday evening – tickets must be booked in advance through the Licensing International or BLE websites.

35. Discover how to make the most of video gaming and esports licensing with BLE’s unofficial gaming day on Thursday. Hear an amazing Tinderbox panel featuring Fashion & Microsoft, GfK tackle the “theatre of gaming in 2019” and our exclusive esports keynote , all starting from 10.15am in the License Global Theatre

36. Visit brands from across the world in our international pavilions: French pavilion situated opposite the License Global Theatre, Italian pavilion next to the BLE Café, Spanish pavilion on stand B320 and the Korean pavilion on B260.

37. Working in retail and don’t know where to start at BLE? Attend our free retailer breakfast briefings in the Bridge Café on the ExCeL boulevard each morning from 8am, visit the Retail Trends Lounge for bite-sized trends sessions , a place to relax and ask questions about the show  and use our Matchmaking Concierge Service to guarantee meetings with your must-see brands.

38. Interested in becoming a Licensing International member? Visit stand C360 to meet the team.

39. Unlicensed brands will pitch live at the show – join the License This! Finale in the License Global Theatre on Thursday at 1pm to discover entirely new properties looking to enter the licensing industry

40. Last but not least, make the most of our brand-new home in East London by checking-out BLE’s after-hours programme on the BLE website including information on shopping, restaurants, bars and activities to suit every budget and requirement. Visit Westfield Stratford or the O2 London for the largest collection of luxury shops or places to eat.

BLE 2019 takes place at ExCeL London from 1-3 October 2019. Register for free at


* © 2019 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, and MODERN WARFARE are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.

For media information:

Charlie Le Rougetel at BIGTOP, 07736 330676,


LicenseWorks helps bring Thomson audio products to India

LicenseWorks has brokered a deal between Thomson, Technicolor and Envent Worldwide to bring Thomson’s audio range of products to India.

As part of the licensing agreement, Envent has introduced a line of Thomson Audio products in the personal and home audio category. Envent’s new collection of Thomson products will be launched exclusively on Amazon online and at various Offline retails chains in the country.


Batman takes on Fortnite!

Epic Games and DC Comics have partnered to bring Batman to battle royale game “Fortnite.”

The collaboration sees Gotham City become a point-of-interest on the Fortnite map. Players will be able to skin their character as the Caped Crusader (in both classic and Dark Knight versions) and take on challenges to earn in-game rewards inspired by Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego.

The partnership comes during Batman’s 80th anniversary celebration and shortly after the honorific date of Batman Day. DC’s multi-platform property has been part of a far-reaching licensing campaign to honor the Dark Knight’s 80 years of action in 2019.

“It’s the 80th anniversary of the Dark Knight, and we wanted to do something extra special for fans all around the world for Batman Day,” says Jim Lee, chief creative officer and publisher, DC, in an interview with “I can’t imagine anything bigger than letting the legions of ‘Fortnite’ players take on the cowl and enter the world of Gotham City via Tilted Towers! Epic Games has really outdone themselves in bringing the world of Batman to battle royale.”

Epic Games will debut two Batman-themed character skins on Oct. 6. Special in-game items from the collaboration will also include the Catwing Glider. To compete for rewards, players will visit a Rift Zone based on Gotham and face off against various henchman from the Batman universe. Challenges will be playable starting Oct. 1.

The Batman x “Fortnite” crossover continues Epic’s push to bring new content to its free-to-play title. Earlier this year, the company debuted a collaboration with Netflix’s “Stranger Things” that brought the Upside Down to the game’s world.


Burger King UK drops plastic toys amid waste concerns

Burger King has announced it will no longer give away plastic toys with children’s meals in the U.K.

Due to a petition started by Ella and Caitlin McEwan (ages 9 and 7), which generated more than half a million signatures, and the rising awareness of sustainability, brands like Burger King U.K. have acted on customers’ concern and will discontinue the use of plastic toys.

The brand is also looking to work with Pentatonic on a new campaign to melt down existing toys and convert them into consumer products such as playgrounds. According to information obtained by the BBC, the process has no harmful effects on the environment and creates a new way to manufacture plastic products from existing toys.


Dream Theatre wins Licensing Mandate for ‘Little Singham’

Mumbai, September 20th, 2019:  India’s homegrown hero will now be within an arm’s reach as Dream Theatre Pvt.  Ltd., India’s foremost licensing and branding representationcompany, has won the mandate for licensing and merchandising for Little Singham, a show inspired by the popular Hindi film Singham.


Reliance Animation & Rohit Shetty Picturez’s Little Singham, was launched in collaboration with Discovery Kids in summer 2018. It soon became the country’s favorite show in a very short span of time and helped propel Discovery Kids ratings, making it the fastest-growing channel in the kids’ genre in 2018. The Little Singham Mobile Game has further added to the IP’s success,  hitting the top of the charts in the Arcade section by garnering more than 10 million downloads. The show is broadcast in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telegu and continues its trailblazing success story.


The  Licensing and merchandising partnership with Dream Theatre will further extend the franchise by building a large and comprehensive licensing portfolio comprising toys, apparel, back to school, footwear, fashion accessories,  bags, sporting accessories, FMCG promotions, retail partnerships and more.


“Little Singham is a phenomenal success story, showcasing the coming together of the best in business in India and Dream Theatre is thrilled to manage the licensing portfolio for the franchise. It has all the tick marks of engaging Indian storytelling, vast content library, popularity and platforms, making it a top licensing choice for partners,” said Jiggy George, Founder & CEO, Dream Theatre Pvt. Ltd.


Commenting on the partnership Tejonidhi Bhandare, COO, Reliance Animation,  said, “We are excited to work with Dream Theatre to bring Little Singham productsand services to our fans. The licensing program will offer them another opportunity of engaging with the brand beyond the screen and make Little Singham a part of their lives with authentic products across a wide-ranging portfolio.