Social media has changed the world in so many ways. In today’s world, promotion and advertisement are using new channels to reach us directly and show us exactly what we want to see. We all follow the big names on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and whether knowingly or not we’ve definitely been influenced by the products they promote.
This promotion isn’t free though. In fact the biggest names are raking in 6 figure sums for even a single post, not to mention all the freebies they receive. It’s a very lucrative business and you may have decided that you want to be on the promotion side, making a name for yourself and shaping the direction of an industry.
Of course, it isn’t easy because let’s face it if it was then everyone would do it. No it takes dedication, intelligence, determination and most importantly a well thought out plan to get you on the right side of sponsorship deals. Thankfully we’ve got some useful information to impart.
How to Become a Sponsored Parkour Athlete
If you’re reading this then you’re looking to be a parkour athlete and should hopefully know all about it. However for anyone who doesn’t know the background and ins and outs of the sport then here is our first tip- know your craft!
If you are ever in a position to be picked up by a sponsor then you 100% need to know everything you can about parkour. Though there’s no clear inception point, parkour as we know it started in the 1980s in France as a discipline using gymnastic and fighting skills. From there it’s grown massively and at the turn of the century it exploded. Now parkour is well known and very well respected.
Hopefully you’re reading this because you love parkour and are already taking it to that next level. Parkour is an incredibly unique activity that lends itself really well to sponsorship deals and promotion. For starters it’s an extremely watchable talent and we’re all amazed by some of the clips and videos that have gone viral online. There’s a huge audience ready to see and learn more that you can tap into.
On top of this parkour is more than just a sport. Parkour is a combination of philosophy and style that go hand in hand with the athletics. If you’re looking to be a representative for parkour then there’s a lot of different ways you can approach it.
At its heart parkour is all about creatively making a path for yourself. Getting that route to sponsorship will take the same skills.
Hone Your Skills and Becoming the Best
This is definitely the most important skill and something that you should never stop working on. If you want to be a sponsored parkour athlete then you need to show the world exactly why, and that means being extremely good at what you do. In fact you need to constantly get better because you can definitely be sure that everyone else waiting in the wings is doing exactly that.
In order to do this, you need to train. This means establishing a routine that pushes you further every time and gives you more to offer any potential sponsor. Look at other successful athletes and adopt their working patterns wherever you can. Whether it’s in the gym or out on the streets you will have to put considerable time in.
You might think to yourself, well isn’t this what I’m already doing? Ok well if that’s the case then it’s time to think outside the box. Parkour doesn’t just take physical strength but it’s a mental exercise too. A lot of the most successful parkour athletes have used, and have now written, books which act as a guide to becoming better.
Parkour Books like ‘The Parkour and Freerunning Handbook’ will give clear instruction on the steps you need to take to develop yourself and reach new heights. Never underestimate the power of knowledge and of taking the time to adopt a new approach.
What you have to remember is that trying to become a sponsored parkour athlete is about showing the world that you are the best. You’ll need to raise your game, so be disciplined and use every tool available to reach the next level.
Growing Your Following
The next step, which may seem obvious, is to get yourself out there and be noticed. We’ve already mentioned how parkour is an activity with a really wide and varied fan base for you to tap into, well it’s time to start tapping!
The best place to start is of course your social media. This is a dedicated channel for you to showcase yourself in all your parkour glory. It’s time to start documenting everything you do within parkour and get it out there. You might have a small reach at first but by regularly creating interesting and engaging content you’ll quickly see a big growth.
It’s never a bad idea to analyze what other people are doing too. Look at some of the big names in parkour and have a look at what they’re doing, how often they’re doing it and what type of thing they’re posting. You can even see what kind of engagement they have and this will help you shape your own material. You might even find a few hubs of people in specific groups that are readily accessible.
That being said, while it’s great to look at what others are doing it’s just as important to explore what they aren’t doing. Are there any elements missing from their content that you can fill or add to? Having a unique angle that represents you will help you stand out from the crowd and reach more people than ever before.
Use all the tools at your disposal and use them well. It’s not just about social media but also forums, websites and in person events or clubs. All of these will help grow your image and allow you to start carving out a name for yourself. The more you can do of that the easier the next step will be.
Finding Potential Parkour Sponsors
This might be simple to write down but actually achieving this can be quite difficult. However the truth of the matter is that at some point you will need to find the sponsors and engage in some kind of dialogue with them before you can become a sponsored parkour athlete.
The best place is start is by talking to people within your community. Parkour has grown popular but at its core there is still a fairly small community of people exchanging knowledge and helping each other out. This is a valuable resource and by talking to those people who understand parkour you might learn what’s happening with sponsorship at the moment. This will help you identify any opportunities to capitalize upon.
Competitions are a great way to get yourself noticed and find some potential sponsors. Competitive parkour is nothing new and various events are held internationally at all levels for you to get involved with. By attending these and networking you’ll potentially track down a few leads worth pursuing.
Alongside reaching out to those in the industry, you should start undertaking your own research. There’s a lot of well known brands that have been known to sponsor parkour athletes, like Red Bull and WFPF. By looking into this further online you’ll no doubt uncover a wide list of companies offering some kind of sponsorship.
While you’re doing this research you need to ask two key questions. What would this organization want from me? And, what do I want from a sponsor? The first question can likely be answered by looking into the company and their ethos. Most of them will want promotion for their product and to help improve sales, but some may have a unique idea behind sponsorship. Identifying this early will help if you did engage with them at any point.
The second question, ‘what do I want from a sponsor’, is a more subjective one. Everyone’s situation is different so you have to look at what you have, what you need and what you want. Ultimately you need to be realistic. If you’re relatively unknown then you’re going to get a lot less than somebody who has a big following already. However in all cases you should ensure you’re getting support. This support is what will help launch you in the parkour world.
Once you’ve done your due diligence and research then it’s time for the final step. Approach the sponsors. This might seem daunting but you have to realize that the majority of the time these organizations aren’t going to reach out to you. Take the initiative and open the conversation and seize any opportunity you can.
Follow the Example of Others
There is no exact road map for becoming a sponsored parkour athlete however the advice in this article will definitely help you on your way. It’s always worth looking at the stories of some of the biggest names and finding out how they got there. This will likely shed some light on what you should, or shouldn’t be doing.
Becoming a sponsored parkour athlete is not going to be easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s an unattainable dream. What you have to do is focus yourself and ultimately decide that this is what you want.
Becoming a sponsored parkour athlete and representing the sport will take sacrifice and dedication but, if you put in the time and work hard then there is absolutely no reason you can’t make it.