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Licensing University™ 2017 to Feature Blend of Trending Topics and Key Basics

– March 09, 2017 –

New York, New York – The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) has assembled a wide range of business-boosting Licensing University™ sessions for Licensing Week 2017 that covers everything from the latest issues and trends to the fundamentals of how the licensing business works. Licensing University takes place May 22-25 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. It is part of Licensing Week, held concurrently with Licensing Expo, which is owned and organized by UBM and sponsored by LIMA. The Expo opens on May 23.

Kicking off Licensing University this year is Cole Gahagan, Chief Commercial Officer of Fanatics Inc., who will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday, May 23, at 8 a.m. Fanatics is at the nexus of the sports licensing business as an e-tailer, physical retailer and licensee, but Gahagan’s presentation will be of interest to all in the licensing business adapting to a rapidly changing retail landscape. 

"Our Licensing University program is an invaluable resource that provides attendees with access to important information on a variety of topics that are fundamental to their organizations," said LIMA President Charles Riotto. "The many sessions and roundtable discussions also provide participants with the opportunity to connect with other industry professionals, opening the door to new collaborations and partnerships that can take their business to the next level."

"This year's extensive Licensing University calendar demonstrates our commitment to providing members of the industry with key learning opportunities at all levels of experience," said Jessica Blue, Senior Vice President, Licensing, UBM. "The goal is for participants to take away valuable insight that can be applied in business, while offering a deeper understanding of the exciting prospects and new trends that exist in the marketplace."

Among the highlights of this year’s Licensing University line-up are:

  • Basics of Sports Licensing – Attendees will learn how to integrate sports into their product portfolio and what the growth potential is for local, national and international consumers, and more. Moderator: Steve Scebelo, VP Licensing and Business Development, NFL Players Inc.
  • Brand and Consumer Research: How to Do It, What's Out There and Doing It on a Budget – A presentation covering simple to complex tools and techniques for finding information. Moderator: Leigh Anne Schwarzkopf, Founding Partner, Project Partners Network
  • Building an Entertainment Licensing Program from Scratch – A session on who, what, where, when, and why to develop and launch a merchandising program and its potential consequences. Moderator: Russell Brown, Product and Promotions, Valiant Entertainment
  • Case Studies in Food & Beverage Brand Licensing – A panel discussion featuring leaders from different corners of the food and beverage licensing spectrum. Moderator: Ricky Yoselevitz, VP Brand Licensing, Seltzer Licensing Group
  • Everything You Need to Know About Royalty Rates – The session delves into royalty rates, the lifeblood of licensing programs. Attendees will learn the ins and outs necessary to sustain and grow their business. Moderator: Maura Regan, EVP, LIMA
  • Managing an Overnight Sensation – An overview focusing on the collectible toy brand, Shopkins. The discussion will include how to successfully manage licensees, creative and product development strategies, and the challenges that arise from managing an in-demand property. Moderator: Mallory Van Laeken, Director of Brand Management, The Licensing Shop
  • Planning and Executing Your Social Media Strategy – A workshop providing the latest stats, insights and trends on where social media is today and where it is going. Presenter: Natalie Cupps DiBlasi, Co-Founder/Executive Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Strategy, LACED Agency
  • The Changing Landscape of Digital Entertainment – A discussion about the video game and digital entertainment landscape and how to navigate the many choices an entertainment or corporate brand holder has to understand and make. Moderator: Mark Caplan, Principal, BD Labs Inc.

For an up-to-date schedule of sessions and to register for the full slate of Licensing University sessions, visit the Licensing Expo website.




Media Contacts:

Alison Grand, [email protected], +1 (212) 584-1133

Laura Liebeck, [email protected], +1 (845) 449-7974

Jannelle Grigsby, [email protected], +1 (310) 857-9020


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About LIMA (

LIMA - the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association - is the leading trade organization for the global licensing industry. LIMA’s mission is to foster the growth and expansion of licensing around the world, raise the level of professionalism for licensing practitioners and create greater awareness of the benefits of licensing to the business community at large. Founded in 1985, LIMA maintains offices in New York, London, Munich, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Mexico City, with representatives in Canada, India, Italy, Korea, and the Middle East. Members in over 35 countries enjoy access to an array of benefits, including extensive educational programming and worldwide networking events. LIMA is the exclusive sponsor of events organized by UBM’s Global Licensing Group: Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo China, and NYC Summit. Visit for more information and to utilize licensing’s definitive online resource. 

About Licensing Expo (

Launched in 1980, Licensing Expo is the world's largest and most influential annual trade show dedicated to licensing and brand extension. The show floor is merchandised into two zones: Characters and Entertainment and Brands, Agents and Design. More than 16,000 retailers, licensees, manufacturers, distributors and licensing agents attend the Expo from more than 67 countries. Licensing Expo is organized by UBM plc. UBM is the largest pure-play B2B Events organizer in the world. Our 3,750+ people, based in more than 20 countries, serve more than 50 different sectors. Our deep knowledge and passion for these sectors allow us to create valuable experiences which enable our customers to succeed. Please visit for the latest news and information about UBM.

About UBM (

UBM plc is the largest pure-play B2B Events organizer in the world. In an increasingly digital world, the value of connecting on a meaningful, human level has never been more important. At UBM, our deep knowledge and passion for the industry sectors we serve allow us to create valuable experiences where people can succeed. At our events people build relationships, close deals and grow their businesses. Our 3,750+ people, based in more than 20 countries, serve more than 50 different sectors – from fashion to pharmaceutical ingredients. These global networks, skilled, passionate people and market-leading events provide exciting opportunities for business people to achieve their ambitions. For more information, go to; for UBM corporate news, follow us on Twitter at @UBM.