Don’t lie. Even if you’re not on a Parkour team you’ve thought about being on one. Or you’ve designed a t-shirt online or tried to make an adventour video like GUP. Many have tried and just as many have failed and it usually comes down to one thing: money. This article is designed to give you a few ideas for how you can pinch pennies in the early stages of creating your very own Freerunning brand. I’ll add some general thoughts to start and you can scroll down to the bottom for an example budget template to use.
Before I talk about any money you need to remember that Storror made videos for years before they earned a dollar from them. You don’t get to have a successful team just because you have a budget. You get there because each one of you did your part to make that dream a reality. Alright. Now Let’s talk about moolah.
0. Set a goal before you go.
Okay one more thing before we delve into dollar bills. You have to dedide as a team what it is you’re building this budget for. Are you a team made up of the best coaches in parkour that tours national gyms giving seminars together? Do you and your compatriots find yourself podiuming at most competitions and feel like you have what it takes to keep pushing the level for the foreseeable future? You need to set a goal that sparks the interest of every team member.
Understanding the goals you have set for yourself makes it a lot easier to decide where your money is going once you are finally making it. If you’re running across Middle Earth with your fellowship like EndurancePK then you may want to factor a drone into your budget. If you know you want to high quality clothing and want to have a profit margin then you may want to factor in a trip to somewhere in Asia to see different factories you could work with. Once you have a better idea of the big ticket items you need to save for you’ll be able to work toward your goal with some focus like any other challenge that you’ve tackled in life.
1. Make the money don’t let the money make you.
What do all Parkour teams have in common? No, not sweatpants (not anymore at least). Team members! And theoretically each of these humans have jobs or parents that love them (I said theoretically). One of the easiest ways to create a budget for your team is just to start saving up with your own money. $20 a month from each member adds up really quickly if there’s 10 of you. It’s also a great way to see who’s really serious about making your team a reality and who just wants to smoke weed at the sesh when everyone else is out training. Shots have been fired.
You need to decide as a team who wants to just train with their friends and who wants to create a professional business. You can absolutely have both but it’s important to understand the difference. So if you want to travel like Storror then work as hard as they do. If you want to win competitions like Storm then train as hard as they do. But be smart about what actions you’re actually taking and which ones just sound nice to say out loud.
2. Gotta spend money to make money.
So you’ve searched the couch cushions for change, hustled your parents and paid your monthly team dues and now you’ve got a few hundred dollars. What’s the next step? No it’s not opening a savings account or buying government bonds, it’s using that budget you’ve established to put you in a better position to generate more wealth.
It doesn’t really matter what your first product is, it just has to be true to your brand and you have to find an audience that wants to buy it. That audience is most likely going to be your friends and family at first (preferably the ones you haven’t already asked for money – but hey ask them too!) So whether it’s a basic shirt like Storror started out with or you want to sell bandanas like Venture Co, find something that fills a niche no one else is currently occupying and you may find it easier to turn a profit on it.
3. Put yourself out there on the scene.
Now that you’ve found a product or a goal you want to push with your brand you have to make yourself known to the existing community and market. In 2010 that meant making new YouTube videos and nowadays it doesn’t hurt to raise that Instagram following over 10K. But showing up in person at the events that everyone else wishes they were at will always be the best way to see growth for your brand and to make meaningful relationships with your community.
If you’re an athlete that likes to compete then make the SPL qualifiers and NAPC a higher priority on where your budget resources go. I wouldn’t recommend relying on the prize money in your budget projections unless you’re someone that podiums often but it’s a worthy expense for marketing your brand and athletes alongside some of the best in the biz. If you’re at JumpFest or Beast Coast you can ask to run a merchandise table and suddenly you’ll be able to sell more of those winter short knock offs you’ve been holding onto so long.
4. Never stop never stopping
Storror hit 1 million subscribers because of a carefully calculated media campaign – one upload a week, every week. The first million took 7 years, the 2nd million took only a few months, so once you’ve done the work and keep doing the work then you can see the type of results you dream of. But you get there by focusing on delivering quality content and products for your audience. Make videos and clothing that the people love and you’ll be living a lifestyle more than it feels like you are just running a business.
All of the parkour teams that could have dominated their market had early momentum and didn’t keep up with it. Imagine if Rilla Hops and Myrm had the same type of resources that Storror and Motus do now – we can blame any number of factors on why these teams didn’t explode but it always comes back to consistency. Not everybody wants to post on social media every day. Not everybody wants to have clothing shipping materials all over their apartment. Not everyone wants to sacrifice sleep and eat peanut butter sandwiches. But for those of you that do, the opportunity is there – you just have to work hard enough toward a goal that you’ve set as a team. And enjoy the ride because it only happens once.
So here are a few examples of how a simple $20 dues from each team member can dramatically affect the total budget of the team over the course of a month, 3 months, 6 months and a year alongside a few examples on what you could spend that money on depending on the goals you have set as a team.
t = Team Member
m = Month
4t x $20m = $80
7t x $20m = $140
10t x $20m = $200
NAPC Onsite + SPL Season Pass = $60
(4t x $20m = $80) x 3m = $240
(7t x $20m = $140) x 3m = $420
(10t x $20m = $200) x 3m = $600
GoPro HERO7 Black = $400
(4t x $20m = $80) x 6m = $480
(7t x $20m = $140) x 6m = $840
(10t x $20m = $200) x 6m = $1200
DJI Phantom 4 = $1400
(4t x $20m = $80) x 12m = $960
(7t x $20m = $140) x 12m = $1680
(10t x $20m = $200) x 12m = $2400
500 custom t shirts = ~$2000
And that’s all there is to it! After a few months making content and paying your dues you could be on your way to making higher quality content and products that you can market to your audience. In another article we can talk more about profit margins and why Storror, Motus and Farang all use factories in Asia to drive down their costs to maximize profits.
I hope this article inspires you to work together with your team to set achievable goals that allow you to grow together. It can be stressful paying your bills and joining the adult world but don’t let the dream of your parkour team die because you “don’t have the money”. You do. You just need to learn when and how to spend it. I would love to talk more with individual teams on this so please feel free to reach out to me!
Thanks so much for reading and please share this with a team that needs to hear it. Keep up the good work my friends. You’ve got this.