LICENSING.BIZ PEOPLE AWARDS 2016: Licensor Team of the Year

Ahead of the much anticipated Peope Awards 2016, we have launched a week of round ups, taking a closer look at the big names running for a People Award on Friday, March 11th.

Today, we profile all the finalists running for a Licensor Team of the Year award across both the Enterprise and SMB categories.

In the Licensor Team of the Year (Enterprise) category, we have:


With undoubtedly one of the biggest franchises of the past year, Universal has landed a campaign for the Minions so successful that it has been described by many as nothing short of ‘awesome’.

“Securing promotional partnerships that really delivered their brand, through to amazing campaigns at retail, alongside style guides and fantastic product innovations, this team really has delivered on all levels,” said one client.

The Licensor team comprised of Hazel, Adam and Liesa has been described as a ‘pleasure to work with’ and a formidable trio for 2015.

Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants and Paw Patrol – NVCP’s portfolio of properties throughout 2015 has been billed as ‘stronger than ever.’

Recent years have seen the Nickelodeon team work tirelessly to establish Turtles as an evergreen license and has responded rapidly to the growing performance of Paw Patrol.

“The most sociable team in the industry, but also one of the hardest working, the Nickelodeon team forms strong relationships with all key stakeholders and apply an open and honest way of working, helping to deliver each priority.,” said one nominating party.

“A great team at all levels, pro-actively working and supporting both their licensed business and their key partners.”


2015 was an exceptional year for Pokémon Company International’s London-based licensing team. 

The newly-expanded team consisting of Samantha Mortimore and Harris McQueen in the UK, Mathieu Galante for Europe, Germany and RoE, Fabrice Blanchefort for France and Romina Ialongo for Italy and Spain continued to build on the huge success of Pokémon’s resurgent video games and trading card lines, securing a raft of new licensees for the brand whilst creating innovative retail promotions and inventive and inclusive marketing campaigns.

Pokémon started in the mid-nineties as a gaming franchise and has grown to become an international brand worth $2billion a year at retail. Having sold more than 200 million video games to date globally. Now, standing on the eve of its 20th anniversary, the brand is in rude health, particularly in the UK and Europe.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment

In 2015, the ITVS GE team has had an exceptionally strong year with the phenomenally successful international launch of Thunderbirds Are Go, the 50th anniversary of classic Thunderbirds and the development of the firm’s third party brand portfolio.

The past 12 months has seen ITVS GE establish their position as a truly international player. Through the unwavering commitment and enthusiasm the team has demonstrated for Thunderbirds Are Go, they are successfully harnessing the property’s potential and building it into a huge global franchise. Best in class partners continue to come on board and now the TV series is broadcast in over 40 countries and the brand has over 70 licensees signed internationally.

Entertainment One

A passionate, driven and highly motivated team, eOne have been building Peppa Pig into a global entertainment brand that is gathering momentum in Asia and accelerating in he US and South America.

In addition to Peppa, the team have put significant weight behind Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom which has seen an increase in viewership and sales of consumer products in 2015.

The team have also laid a strong foundation for their new pre-school superhero brand PJ Masks which launched to strong audience figures on Disney Jr in the US in September 2015 and is poised for toy launch in Fall 2016.

BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide has some of the biggest properties in children’s and family entertainment to its name, from Doctor Who and Countryfile to the psychedelic, disco-feverish pre-school brand, Go Jetters.

A major player across categories and audiences, BBC Worldwide generated profits of up to £138.6 million in 2014/15.

The company is undoubtedly in for another big year as excitement surrounding the re-booted Top Gear brand revs to new heights.

And with a new car-studded line-up featuring Chris Evans, Eddie Jordan and US star Matt Le Blanc at the Top Gear helm, BBC Worldwide is certainly looking to leave all other contenders in its dust this year.


2015 was a standout year for Disney. The firm has been working closely with licensees and retailers to deliver fantastic cross category ranges of unique and compelling products as well as impactful shopper marketing campaigns.

Stand out brands have included Marvel, Frozen, Disney Junior, Star Wars, Minnie Mouse, Pixar and Disney Princess, with the team working to leverage every part of the business to drive sales and awareness of licensed products.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has helped Disney to stellar yearly earnings, topping $2.9 billion in net profit for its fiscal first quarter.

“I think Disney deserve the award for some truly interesting approaches to different brand engagements with the return of Star Wars,” read one nomination.

Warner Bros.

With more than 3,700 active licensees worldwide, Warner Bros Consumer Products licenses the rights to names, likenesses and logos for all the intellectual properties in Warner’s vast film and television library.

DC Comics’ Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Supergirl of course need no introduction, and thanks to an inspired partnership with Mattel will take on an altogether new guise as the first line of action dolls in the DC Super Hero Girls collection this year.

At Warner Bros, the blockbuster film franchise Harry Potter sits alongside the iconic Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo and Tom & Jerry, while classic films like The Wizard of Oz present new opportunities, including as part of the LEGO Dimensions offering.

And in the Licensor Team of the Year (SMB) category, we have:

DHX Brands

As home to the Teletubbies, Twirlywoos and In the Night Garden, it’s no wonder that in less than two years, DHX Brands has established itself as a licensor of note.

Under the leadership of industry veteran Peter Byrne and his growing senior licensing, brand management and creative services team, the company is a proven go-to for top-tier standout IP, experience and clear vision. It has a cherry-picked slate from both parent company DHX Media, as well as from the wider television business including properties from the stable of renowned children’s creative Anne Wood.

Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche has has a fantastic year with its Me to You and Tiny Tatty brands and 2015 saw many achievements for the team as Me to You took up the mantle as evergreen brand, worth over $250 million at retail worldwide.

“As a team, Carte Blanche is incredibly passionate and positive about not only its brands, but the licensing industry as a whole,” read one nomination.

“They recognise the importance of retailers, and as a team has a high target of retailer meetings a month. At a higher level, Sarah Quigley who heads up our licensing team also attends regular top-to-top meetings with the Heads of Buying and Character to understand their needs from us and to keep them excited about our brands.”


“Consistently high-quality product range,” said one nominator. Another added: “Still very much top of the class in terms of sustainable premium licensing programme with a clear vision and fantastic execution.”

“A benchmark for heritage and design licensing. Deals like the one with Oasis?show that they have a forward thinking contemporary approach” concluded another.

2015 started big for the brand with the announcement of a series of licensing partnerships ranging from stationery and textiles to beauty accessories and cakeware, with the first collection featuring designs from the V&A’s textile archive launching in January


Peter Lord and David Sproxton first created the firm back in 1972, and in March 2015, the firm kicked off the year in style with an exhibition celebrating the art of Aardman at Art Ludique in Paris.

This year, the company also revealed that it will be teaming up with SGS Productions to develop a new Shaun the Sheep show, which will hit Haven Holiday Parks in May and June.

On the big screen, Aardman secured BAFTA and Oscar-nominations for Shaun the Sheep: The Movie and 2015 also saw Shaun enjoy a successful time in the toy space with Rainbow Designs.

Last year also saw Aardman team with Skanes Djurpark to launch a new Shaun the Sheep attraction in Sweden’s largest theme park.

Moomin Character

The Moomins have crossed the oceans, the decades and multiple categories to become one of the world’s most recognisable children’s and family entertainment brands.

First created 70 years ago by Finnish artist and author Tove Jansson, the Moomins have become ingrained in not only Scandinavian culture, but risen to become what can only be called a phenomenon in Japan and has certainly left its mark on the UK too.

A perennial favourite among kids and parents alike, the Moomins started life as a comic strip in a British newspaper. Brand owners Moomin Characters is now in its 40th consecutive quarter of strong growth.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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