BLE 2013 matches London for international diversity

Posted by Kelvyn Gardner on October 16, 2013

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It’s day two of Brand Licensing Europe 2013 and you know what? You’ve got to pack your bags tonight and get ready to check out of your hotel tomorrow morning! Those of us staying at the BLE Hostel ( otherwise known as the Hilton Olympia ) have the shortest journeys, but it still has to be done.

What a horrible thought with so much business to do! On the bright side, Day two brought us everything from break dancing courtesy of the Extreme Sports Company to the 40th anniversary celebrations of Vic the Viking. Now, don’t get me wrong, but I thought that Vikings were a lot older than 40? Maybe it’s time for someone to revisit English history and give us Sam the Saxon, or Garry the Geet ( check your Beowulf tranlsations for style guide info ). Reinforcing the roots of Anglo-Saxon culture clearly setting a new trend at the show, VW gave the keynote address and their archivist, Ulrike Gutzmann, contributed a teutonic thread dealing with the history of this iconic motoring brand.

Walking around the show you easily pick up the international vibe. How many languages are spoken at BLE 2013? Most of the major world languages, I’ll bet. I just wish my ( at best) tourist-level Japanese allowed me to chip in witty comments at meetings with top Japanese licensors like Toei or Sanrio. If there were more prominent Lancashire licensors at the show ( we don’t count Manchester United as they are officially located in Greater Manchester County these days ) then it would be plain sailing for this son of the red rose.

Last night we got the launch of the Power List from A great bash with real beer, no less. Lots of debate as to the brands that got into the List. I was especially pleased to see WWE get into the top twenty sports brands. WWE often falls between all all the stools being, by their own description, ‘sports entertainment’ and therefore often missing both entertainment and sports awards. I’ve had the honour of working with WWE as a licensee for more than twenty years and a more professional ‘sports’ organisation does not exist as far as licensing is concerned. They could teach professional soccer a lot. Their use of dramatic music at live events has been successfully followed by the more progressive UK sports like Rugby League, and they continue to innovate. Congratulations from me to all the Power List – you’ve earned your place.