Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) has paid tribute to licensing legend Kelvyn Gardner, who passed away at the start of this year, by renaming the License This! Competition as the Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition and nominating day two of the event as Colour for Kelvyn day.

The Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition has been helping brands and designers break into the licensing industry for over a decade and applications for this year’s entries close on Monday 11 October. The competition final will take place in-person at BLE on Friday 19 November.

BLE has now added a third award category in partnership with Mojo Nation to provide a springboard for inventors and designers keen to break into the sector. Applicants for the product design category will be asked to submit a design for a desktop product (such as a mouse, coffee mug, desk tidy or USB stick), drawing inspiration from Aardman’s award-winning IP Morph. Details can be found at or by emailing

The second day of BLE, which takes place at ExCeL London from 17 November to 19 November, will be called Colour for Kelvyn day. Attendees are invited to wear bright colours in honour of Kelvyn’s love for eye-catching jackets and make a donation in his name to industry charity The Light Fund.

“Kelvyn was someone that I – and everyone else in the licensing industry – genuinely loved and truly admired.

Anna Knight, VP of Licensing, Informa Markets

Anna Knight, VP of Licensing, Informa Markets, explained: “Kelvyn was someone that I – and everyone else in the licensing industry – genuinely loved and truly admired. He chaired License This! from day one and was a massive advocate for making the sector accessible to everyone, particularly new blood with exciting ideas. He was so generous with his time – not only through the judging process – but also with the mentoring he offered finalists and winners, that it seems only fitting it’s now known as the Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition.

“Colour for Kelvyn day is obviously inspired by Kelvyn’s love of a colourful jacket, which seemed to get more outrageous every year, and by his advocacy of and support for The Light Fund. It’s a really special charity that Kelvyn was always keen to help. We also want to say a huge thank you to Kelvyn’s wife and children (Michelle, Regan and Eliot) for enabling us to honour him in this manner and for joining us at BLE to launch Colour for Kelvyn day on Thursday 18 November. I can’t wait to see the hall filled with a rainbow of colours in his memory.”

The team has also unveiled this year’s judging line-up, which includes several new faces, as well as the return of Start Licensing Director Ian Downes:

  • Ian Downes, Director, Start Licensing – chair
  • Phil King, Managing Director, Trademark Products Ltd
  • Sabrina Segalov, Senior International Licensing Manager, Sanrio Global
  • Emily Aldridge, Head of Global Licensing, Abysse
  • Dan Grant, Licensing Director, Danilo
  • Teri Niadna, Managing Director, Brandgenuity
  • Sarah Ward, Chief Executive, The Giftware Association
  • Clare Piggott, Managing Director, Larkshead Media
  • Billy Langsworthy, Co-Founder, Mojo Nation & Brands Untapped
  • Rob Goodchild, Commercial Director, Aardman
  • Sarah Lawrence, Director, This is Iris
  • Jehane Boden Spiers, Founder, JEHANE
  • Karen Hewitt, Buying Director,
  • Maxine Lister, Head of Licensing, Natural History Museum
  • Dale Boreham, Senior Design Manager, Moonpig

Launched in 1998, Brand Licensing Europe is the only pan-European annual event dedicated to licensing and brand extension. The event features over 2,500 brands and more than 7,500 licensees, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and licensing agents. Brand Licensing Europe is a part of the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets.

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