It’s 2019 and our sport grows more and more exciting every day. More grassroots competitions are taking place and parkour teams still travel all over the world making content and adding to the media history of our discipline. As we saw in our Google Trends analysis, more muggles are searching for parkour gyms and lessons than ever before so there’s never been a better time for the parkour economy. But in all this exciting hubbub it can be hard to find your place in the grand scheme of things. This article will help give you a few ideas how you can work for parkour.
Everyone is familiar with the athlete/coach/brand career model that the sport has perpetuated thus far. It makes a lot of sense. You get good at a sport and then coach others to do it as your profession. This model also allows for upward mobility in companies as you can transition from an assistant coach to a full time or head coach as time goes by. Some gyms may even specialize coaches for certain types of private lessons or movement styles.
With more gyms than ever popping up you are in a better position than ever to find a gym culture that suits your style of movement and work. Many coaches find success with their own programs outside of an organized gym. It all comes down to how much do you want to work and how much money do you want to make? If you want to work harder to promote solo events for yourself you may make more money per hour but get less total clients. If you’re more comfortable accepting a paycheck and a schedule than hustling for your meal ticket then find a local gym in your area and hone your chops there.
I believe it will be more prevalent in the near future for competitive athletes to seek out coaches to work on their specific weaknesses and strengths for competition. In order to maintain a competitive edge these days you have to be at the top of your game and the only way to do that is to train with the best you have available to you. This will lead to an increase in private lessons for gyms and coaches and should provide ample chances for exciting media from the best athletes and coaches in the game.
We’ve all had dreams of being a professional athlete and competing for cash prizes and champagne showers. But I don’t kong pre as well as Marcio Filipe and it’s unlikely I’ll ever be as fast as Joseph Henderson. So you have to accept your strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly for them. There are a lot more opportunities for competitions today but it’s not the only way to make money as an athlete.
Sponsorships and endorsements are the number one way to earn revenue for athletes across many professional sports. While parkour does not yet garner a large mass audience there are still plenty of athletes that dip into a more mainstream audience and can therefore promote products for other companies. Try to find products that you really align with or some that may benefit you, like a foam roller or protein sponsor. It’s better to make relations with companies you want to work with for a long time than someone who’ll give you $20 for a one time post. But to each their own.
As an athlete you’re basically either a performer or a competitor (and in our sport it’s usually a bit of both). Many athletes have found success transitioning into stunts or reality television, even obstacle course racing and ninja warrior helps pay the bills by raising your social media audience and allowing you more chances to sell products and get your brand out in front of the world.
There are never enough parkour photographers at events to capture the event in enough ways to market that event year round. Competitions need more videographers as well when the grassroots organization hosting them cannot hire their own film team. Brands and teams need more content than they are able to produce themselves and you can help them if you have the right skills.
Outsourcing is one of the best ways to build a business efficiently and as a freelancer you can adapt yourself to a number of services that benefit the existing parkour economy structure. As a Freelancer you need to network and travel for work if you don’t have enough clients in your immediate area. That means if you want to get hired with your camera you have to attend events until you’re able to make relationships with the people in charge of the event budget.
The key to successful freelancing is to make yourself invaluable to a company. That means finding out what they need before offering to help them. If you have a multitude of skills it’s good to market you can do package deals for brands and businesses. There are universal skills in parkour media but here are a few that most businesses need more of.
Who creates the jobs that fill up our work force? Who creates the brands and businesses that support our community? Whether via crowdfunding or government grants, personal loans or paper routes, every brand you support in parkour was started by an entrepreneur that took the financial risk to create your opportunity. And it’s that cycle that we have to support more actively for a thriving parkour economy.
If you can see a problem worth solving in your community, you can create a business around that solving that problem. Most people can’t (or won’t) build their own parkour in their back yard – so someone else built a gym in the community so you could pay for weekly training. Not everyone wants to wear Nike and Adidas when they train so we’ll continue to see new parkour brands release clothing that excites the community and their closets.
The journey of an entrepreneur is often a difficult and lonely one. Most small businesses fail and it costs a lot of money to move your parkour facility when your landlord changes the terms of your lease. But without the sacrifices of the men and women that work hard every day to craft the future of our sport – there would be no resistance against an entity like FIG taking advantage of our passion. So we at this blog salute you, the entrepreneurs that chart the course.
Thanks so much for reading some of my thoughts on these careers within parkour. We here at Parkour Entrepreneur are always working to educate and excite the members of our community that are willing to work hard for others. So maybe there’s a job or career for you outside of what we listed here if your mind is up to solving the problem. As always let us know if there are any questions or topics you want us to delve into.