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LICENSING INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES 2023 EXCELLENCE AWARDS FINALISTS

26 Apr - 2023

Licensing International has announced the full list of finalists for the prestigious Excellence Awards, dedicated to recognizing outstanding achievements and innovation in the global brand licensing industry.

This year’s Excellence Awards feature 201 finalists in 30 categories. More than 850 submissions were reviewed by a panel that includes 200 judges from 20 countries.

Several new categories were introduced this year, including the award for Most Impactful Service Provider, which honors companies that help the industry run more effectively, including accounting and law firms, brand protection and approval software companies, and design agencies. And the Best Sustainability Initiative award recognizes a licensed product or product range that is making measurable improvements in sustainability.

We are thrilled to celebrate the global brand licensing industry’s incredible work”, said Maura Regan, President of Licensing International. “By expanding the categories and adding new awards, we can better reflect our constantly evolving business. Congratulations to this year’s finalists, and we look forward to celebrating our community at this year’s ceremony”.

Licensing International members can vote for the winners beginning on Monday, April 24. Each member company will receive one ballot to vote for each category and voting will end on Saturday, May 6.

The winners will be announced during the Licensing International Excellence Awards ahead of Licensing Expo. The ceremony will take place on Monday, June 12 at 5:00pm PST at HyperX Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor. Licensing Expo will take place from June 13 – 15 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

More information about the finalists is available online. Finalists were presented by sponsors Alifish, Jazwares, Spaceport, and Spirit.

The full list of nominees includes: 

Best Brand: Entertainment Animated

  • Bluey – Ludo Studio & BBC Studios
  • CoComelon – Moonbug Entertainment
  • Let’s Play with Monica and Friends – Mauricio de Sousa Produções
  • Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir – ZAG
  • Naruto – Shueisha, TV Tokyo, VIZ Media
  • Peppa Pig – Hasbro
  • Spider-Man – Marvel  

Best Brand: Food, Beverage, Restaurant

  • Cinnabon – Focus Brands
  • Coca-Cola – The Coca-Cola Company
  • Hello Kitty Cafe – Sanrio
  • Hershey’s & Reese’s – The Hershey Company (MDR Brand Management)
  • M&M’S, Snickers, Twix, Skittles, Starburst – Mars Wrigley (Brand Central)
  • Peeps – Just Born (Brand Activation Consulting)
  • Tapatio Hot Sauce – Tapatio Foods (Brand Central)

Best Brand: Digitally Native, Gaming, NFT

  • Angry Birds – Rovio Entertainment (IMG)
  • Bored of Directors – NFIP Holdings (Brand Central)
  • emoji – The Iconic Brand – emoji company GmbH (Retail Monster)
  • Five Nights at Freddy’s – Scottgames (Striker Entertainment)
  • Minecraft – Microsoft (CAA Brand Management)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog – SEGA

Best Product: Health & Beauty Aids

  • Amiro Shenzhen – V&A (ALFILO Brands)
  • Medline – Ironman (Brandgenuity)
  • Rock & Roll Beauty – Ozzy Osbourne
  • Rolly Brush / Mr. White – Spider-Man
  • SheGlam – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  • Townley – Play-Doh

Best Product: Toys, Games, Novelties, Role Play (ages 0-8)

  • Disguise – Jurassic World
  • Disguise – Pokémon
  • JAKKS Pacific – Super Mario Bros
  • Jazwares – CoComelon
  • Mattel – Karma’s World
  • Moose Toys – Bluey (BBC Studios)
  • Spin Master – Gabby’s Dollhouse
  • WowWee – Twister

Best Licensed Promotion

  • Barbie x Rocket Super Bowl Promotion – Rocket Homes & Rocket Mortgage
  • McDonald’s Pokémon Happy Meal – McDonald’s
  • Peanuts x Starbucks – Starbucks
  • Tetris x Kura Sushi – Kura Revolving Sushi Bar U.S.
  • The MET Museum × OPPO series – Guangdong OPPO MOBILE Telecommunications (ALFILO Brands)
  • Tiffany & Co. x Andy Warhol Holiday 2022 – Tiffany & Co.

Best Experiential or Location-Based Initiative

  • BIG AIR Challenge – Feld Entertainment
  • Elton John LA Takeover @ The Webster, Los Angeles – The Webster Installation (Bravado)
  • Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience – Ravenswood Experiences
  • Hello Kitty Cafe Château Experience – Nice Like That (Tycoon)
  • Monopoly Dreams – MRM Entertainment
  • Peter Rabbit Garden Adventure at Blenheim Palace – Histrionic Productions
  • Stranger Things: The Official Store – Netflix, Three Ten Merchandise, Black Sky Creative

Best Sustainability Initiative

  • Goodyear Brakes Calipers by FDP Brakes (IMG)
  • Mud Jeans & Van Gogh Museum – Circular Denim
  • Pacifico Sustainable Apparel Line by Quiksilver (The Joester Loria Group)
  • Skechers Our Planet Matters (OPM) Sustainable Footwear
  • Sunflower Pop by Floral Street Fragrances (Licensing Link Europe)
  • The Smurfs Ocean Cleanup & Village Cleaning Mobile Games (Azerion)

Best Brand: Corporate

  • Arm & Hammer – Church & Dwight (Brandgenuity)
  • Atari (Beanstalk)
  • Braun – Procter & Gamble (Beanstalk)
  • Goodyear – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (IMG)
  • Kodak – Eastman Kodak Company
  • United States Postal Service (Global Icons)

Best Brand: Sports, eSports, Collegiate

  • Formula 1 (CAA Brand Management)
  • Head – Head Sports GmbH
  • NFL Players Association
  • Starting Lineup – Fanatics
  • UFC (IMG)
  • U.S. POLO ASSN. – USPA GLOBAL LICENSING INC.
  • Yale University (ASPIRE by WildBrain CPLG)

Best Brand: Entertainment Live Action

  • Cobra Kai – Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Jurassic World Dominion – Universal Products & Experiences
  • Monster High – Mattel
  • Star Wars – The Walt Disney Company / Lucasfilm
  • Stranger Things – Netflix
  • Yellowstone – Paramount

Best Product: Apparel, Footwear & Accessories for Corp Brands

  • adidas AG Original Superstar – LEGO
  • adidas AG Tiro – LEGO
  • Fila – Van Gogh Museum (IMG)
  • Floafers – Crayola (The Brand Liaison)
  • H&M – LEGO
  • Modern Works – Kodak

Best Product: Food or Beverage for Ent Brands

  • Duncan Hines – Dolly Parton (IMG)
  • Ella’s Kitchen – The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Joester Loria Group/ Rocket Licensing)
  • Groupe Bel – Disney Classic
  • Hello Fresh – Elf
  • Kellogg/Pringles – Hot Ones
  • Palermo’s Pizza – Stranger Things
  • Senshukai Co. – Tom and Jerry

Best Product: Toys, Games, Novelties, Role Play (ages 8+)

  • Basic Fun (Lite-Brite) – Stranger Things
  • JAKKS Pacific – Jurassic World
  • New York Times Games & Hasbro – Wordle
  • The Carat Shop – Harry Potter
  • The LEGO Group – Harry Potter
  • The LEGO Group – MoMA
  • Ukrainian Gears – Harry Potter (European Licensing Company)
  • Wow! Stuff – Jurassic World

Best Retailer: Entertainment, Character

  • Bloomingdale’s – Bridgerton
  • BoxLunch – Hello Kitty and Friends
  • Hot Topic – Harajuku Collective
  • La Rinascente – Pokémon
  • Saks Fifth Avenue – The Batman
  • Target – Stranger Things
  • Wandelhalle Hamburg – Wizarding World

Best Brand: Art, Design, Museum

  • Keith Haring (Artestar)
  • National Palace Museum (So-net Entertainment Taiwan)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Beanstalk)
  • The New York Botanical Garden (Jewel Branding & Licensing)
  • Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
  • Victoria and Albert Museum

Best Brand: Publishing, Stationery, Social Expression

  • Black Paper Party (Brand Central)
  • Crayola
  • Eric Carle/The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Penguin Random House (The Joester Loria Group)
  • Moomin – Moomin Characters (Rights & Brands)
  • The World of Peter Rabbit – Penguin Ventures
  • The World of Strawberry Shortcake – WildBrain

Best Product: Appliances, Housewares & Electronics for Corp Brands

  • Energizer – Axe / Unilever
  • Miralbueno – Goodyear (IMG)
  • Samsung Electronics – Victoria & Albert Museum
  • SBI / ISSE – Goodyear (IMG)
  • Smeg – Coca-Cola
  • tonies – Calm
  • Wonderfold Wagon – Volkswagen (IMG)  

Best Product: Publishing, Social Expression, Back-to-School

  • American Greetings – Sesame Street
  • Chronicle Books – LEGO
  • Danilo Promotions – Star Wars
  • Editorial Planeta de Agostini – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Royal Mail Group – Iron Maiden
  • Smiggle – Wizarding World

Best Product: Home Decor

  • Accompany – Jurassic World
  • Ann Gish – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Beanstalk)
  • Jay Franco and Sons – Hasbro Gaming
  • Pottery Barn – The World of Peter Rabbit
  • Steelcase – Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (Jewel Branding & Licensing)
  • The Royal Mint – Harry Potter

Best Retailer: Corporate, Lifestyle, Fashion, Sports

  • Aéropostale – Cheetos (The Joester Loria Group)
  • Marina Square, Singapore – tokidoki (Pacific Licensing Studio)
  • Snipes EU – McDonald’s (The Joester Loria Group)
  • The Nature Holdings – National Geographic
  • Toxic – Iron Maiden & Mötley Crüe (KOPA)
  • Vans – Crayola
  • Walmart – Peeps (Brand Activation Consulting)

Best Collaboration: HBA, Food, Beverage and Other

  • Fruity Pebbles Cereal x Nike
  • Kraft Mac & Cheese x Van Leeuwen (Brand Central)
  • Monini SpA x Van Gogh Museum
  • Pat McGrath x Bridgerton
  • Peaky Blinders x Bushmills
  • Starbucks x Emily in Paris
  • UNO Artiste x Murakami

Most Impactful Service Provider

  • Dependable Solutions Inc.
  • ELLALAN
  • Fabacus
  • Flowhaven
  • Octane5
  • Stephanie Pottick (Pottick Law & Protect for Success)

Best Brand: Celebrity, Lifestyle, Fashion

  • Dolly Parton – Speckled Bird (IMG)
  • FUBU – Daymond John (The Brand Liaison)
  • Grateful Dead – Warner Music Experience
  • Laura Ashley – Gordon Brothers
  • Morphy Richards – Guangdong Morphy Richards Technology (ALFILO Brands)
  • The Comfy – Cozy Comfort Company (The Brand Liaison)

Best Brand: Toy

  • Barbie – Mattel
  • Hot Wheels – Mattel
  • LEGO/Marvel – The Walt Disney Company
  • Masters of the Universe – Mattel
  • Mini Brands – ZURU Toys
  • Monopoly – Hasbro
  • Nerf – Hasbro
  • Squishmallows – Jazwares

Best Product: Apparel, Footwear & Accessories for Ent Brands

  • Adidas – Hot Wheels
  • Bombas – World of Eric Carle/Very Hungry Caterpillar (The Joester Loria Group)
  • Calzedonia – Harry Potter
  • Character.com – Thomas & Friends
  • Grendene S.A. – Batman
  • Gucci – Flower Fairies
  • Hot Topic – Wednesday
  • UGG – Sesame Street

Best Product Food: or Beverage for Corp Brands

  • Bulla Dairy Foods – Chupa Chups (Asembl Brands)
  • Galerie Candy – Froot Loops (The Joester Loria Group)
  • General Mills Trading, Shanghai – Musée du Louvre (Alifish)
  • Iceland – Hershey (MDR Brand Management)
  • The Jel Sert Company – Skittles (Brand Central)
  • Mentos/Perfetti Van Melle – Fanta
  • MyProtein – Jelly Belly (CAA Brand Management)

Best Product Digital: Apps, Software, Video Games & NFT’s

  • Frontier Developments – Jurassic World
  • Funko – Kellogg’s (The Joester Loria Group)
  • IGG Singapore– Musée du Louvre (Alifish)
  • Immersive Gamebox – Squid Game
  • Red Games – Crayola
  • Roblox – Squishmallows

Best Product: Appliances, Housewares & Electronics for Ent Brands

  • ASUS – Batman (Pacific Licensing Studio)
  • Dalstrong – Call of Duty
  • Energizer – Stranger Things
  • Oppo – House of Dragons
  • OSIM International – Transformers (Pacific Licensing Studio)
  • Stern Pinball – James Bond 007

Best Collaboration: Fashion, Footwear & Accessories

  • Burberry x Minecraft (CAA Brand Management)
  • Irregular Choice x Classic Animation
  • Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes x Puma (The Joester Loria Group)
  • Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation x Mr. Saturday (Segal Licensing)
  • Pokémon & Balmain
  • Pokémon x Puma
  • Santos Futebol Clube x Charlie Brown Junior x Umbro
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art x Dr. Martens (Beanstalk)
  • Tommy Hilfiger x Miffy

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