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Events | Highlights

ANIBALLERS ‘KIDS FOOTBALL APP’ WINS 2023 KELVYN GARDNER LICENSE THIS! COMPETITION

5 Oct - 2023

The winner and three runners up in this year’s Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition were announced the 5th October at Brand Licensing Europe.

Dubbed ‘the football training adventure for kids,’ Aniballers features six animated characters in a colourful world that take kids along a gamified training journey. The animation is interspersed with video clips of real 3–6-year-olds in a 3D rendered brand world setting presenting drills, and AR-filters so kids can feel immersed in the game. 

With 50 unique challenges suitable for indoor and outdoor play, Aniballers has been developed by UEFA approved coaches and follows EYFS key developmental learning areas so kids (and parents) can feel like they have a football coach in their pocket.  

The Kelvyn Gardner License This! judges praised Aniballers’ ‘great concept and characters’. They also loved the underlying exercise message, its gender neutrality, the ‘stand out’ logo and branding and the fact that Aniballers could work well across multiple sports.  

Aniballers was conceived during lockdown by dad Matt Wilson and his daughter Veda, and family agency Kids Industries is the creative and technical brains behind the app, sharing valuable insight into children and families throughout the entire creative process.  

Matt Wilson, Aniballers founder, said: “In a world where childhood mental and physical health problems are common, we believe the first five years of life are a window of opportunity to establish the foundations of a love for sports and active play.  Aniballers is a magical world designed to help parents introduce and engage their kids with active play.   

We have a portfolio of digital and physical products in mind that all point toward encouraging and rewarding active play. Winning the Kelvyn Gardner LIcense This! Award will help us develop a dialogue with new partners who can help us to help families over the world to raise healthy, active kids.”  

Raj Pathmanathan, Kids Industries creative director, said: “I’m delighted that Aniballers has won the Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition – its potential as a licensable brand was apparent to us at KI from the start, and as we supported the development of the identity and building the digital product, the brand opportunities were always in the back of our minds. It’s great to see a brand that enables children to participate in sports through storytelling and tech get the spotlight. We’re excited to see where Aniballers takes off in the future!” 

The three 2023 runners up are (in no particular order):   

  1. Bobby Hollie (Danielle Lambert) 
  2. Campus to Canvas (Steph Coathupe)  
  3. Cheeky Legends (Arrthi Little)  

Organised by Brand Licensing Europe (4-6 October, ExCeL, London) and License Global, the Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition propels illustrators, publishers, designers or animators with unlicensed brands into the spotlight, helping them break into the lucrative $340+ billion global brand licensing industry, secure new deals and/or agent representation. 

Matt Wilson and Aniballers will receive over £7,000 of free exposure and promotional support to help develop their brand:   

  • An editorial feature in the BLE 2023 Show Daily 
  • Promotional support from BLE and License Global for 12 months 
  • Free of charge turnkey booth at BLE2024 
  • One year Licensing International membership 
  • One-year Products of Change membership   
  • Pop-up banner display at Brand Licensing Europe 2024 
  • Exclusive interview of the winning brand, featured onLicenseGlobal.com 
  • One hour of one-on-one mentorship post-event with Robyn Cowling 
  • One hour one on one mentorship opportunity with License Global editorial staff 
  • Access to LinkedIn community group of current and past winners 

And the three finalists will receive:   

  • An editorial feature in the BLE Show Daily 
  • Pop-up banner display at Brand Licensing Europe 2024 
  • One hour mentorship opportunity for finalist group with industry experts 
  • Access to LinkedIn community group of current and past winners.  

This year’s judging panel: 

  • Chair: Robyn Cowling, Licensing Consultant/Brand Director, Rocky Horror Show, Golden Goose 
  • Sarah Lawrence – Licensing Director, This is Iris 
  • Dale Boreham – Senior Design Manager, Moonpig 
  • Teri Niadna – Managing Director, Brandgenuity 
  • Dan Grant – Licensing Director, Danilo 
  • Billy Langsworthy – Co-founder, Mojo Nation & Brands Untapped 
  • Maxine Lister – Head of Licensing, Natural History Museum 
  • Sabrina Segalov – Senior Licensing Manager, Sanrio Global Limited 
  • Emily Fawcett – Head of Global Licensing, Abysse Corp 
  • Clare Piggott – Managing Director, Larkshead Licensing Ltd 
  • Charlie Langhorne – Co-Founder & Managing Director, Wild in Art 
  • Phil King –Managing Director, Trademark Products Ltd 
  • Ben Roberts, License Global, Content Director, EMEA  
  • Ian Hart, License Global, Senior Digital Editor, UK & EMEA 

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