Part 3 of our Take Flight Roundabout series is here! It lasts 20 minutes, the majority of which has leaders from the event discussing ideas promoted by Joey’s question, “How do you make a living from Parkour?” The discussion, however, quickly focused in on the meaning of sponsorship, and after sitting quietly for more than 10 minutes, Take Flight founder Adam Dunlap chimed in to share his view.
What makes this interesting is Adam Dunlap is arguably the pioneer of sponsorships in the Parkour world. Through him and his vision, Take Flight began sponsoring Traceurs in 2009; Take Flight began financially supporting Parkour gyms in 2010; and in 2012, under the direction of Dunlap, Take Flight became the first Traceur-started-and-owned company to provide financial endorsement contracts to Traceurs. Since 2012 Take Flight has given financial contracts/support to some of the world’s most famous Traceurs and legends including David Belle, Pasha Petkuns, Joey Adrian, Toby Segar, Pedro Salgado, D’Ondrai Jones, Luis Alkmim, Nikolay Stasolik, Oscar Sanchez, Will Sutton, Danee Marmolejo, Marc “Defo” Torres Stanislavs Lazden and many others. In this vision, we continue to look to expand our team and the financial opportunities to we bring to Traceurs around the world.
In this episode, Dunlap spoke for approximately 6 minutes about sponsorship, during which he also touched on many other topics including art, humility, labels, money, and the focus Take Flight has on helping people. Below we have provided the transcript from Dunlap’s talk. He only touches briefly on many of the topics, but we hope you can see deeper into his words and what he is sharing.
To see the full video, click below:
Adam Dunlap: “It’s a relationship. You guys are talking about things, and I find it really funny. I’ve been sitting here [while you’re] talking about brands, and clothing, and you talk about Storror – kids that live in their parent’s house. And I love them, but I know some of their financial situations because we used to pay them money. And you’re talking about brands and this type of stuff, and you guys [Parkour Origins] have a brand which is legit by the way. But like… this is what I do, guys. We’re talking about Storror and Storm – it’s funny, this conversation stayed here, and I had to get up and get water because I’m like, “Why are you guys even speculating. I know all the answers to these questions.” ”
“What is sponsorship? We [Take Flight] have been doing it for 7 years. We sponsored Pasha, we sponsored Shaun Wood, we sponsored David Belle. You go to the Art of Motion and there’s 5 or 6 guys competing that we sponsored. Luis Alkmim, Stansislavs Lazden, we sponsored all these guys. You know what I’m saying? We paid these guys money. We have for years. Toby Segar – we gave him our biggest contract 2 years ago, until Kie Willis did his thing and [Toby] kind of got cold feet and wanted to leave.”
Tom Coppola: “Why do you do that sponsorship? What is the catalyst for you? Not just creating a relationship between the athlete, but what is it doing for your brand? Because there has to be some benefit. It’s mutual exchange, right?
Adam Dunlap: “It’s mutual exchange. All life is mutual exchange. Friendships, romantic relationships, business – everything is mutual exchange. Supply and demand.”
Tom Coppola: “But you want your brand to get out there?”
Adam Dunlap: “Absolutely.”
Tom Coppola: “And so you’re asking the athlete to wear your clothes and maybe give them money or whatever so that they can show your brand to an audience.”
Adam Dunlap: “Absolutely.”
Tom Coppola: “And if these is no audience there, would you pay them? If there’s nobody that’s going to see.”
Adam Dunlap: “It depends on what we do.”
Tom Coppola: “Because that would just be charity work. “
Adam Dunlap: “Maybe. Or it’s art. We all have times in our lives where we do stuff without financial value. Is that charity work? Maybe. Or maybe it’s like, “I want to live my life this way, and I’m going to be creative.” ”
“You know what inspires me?”
“When we pay our athletes on Take Flight – and we have for 3 years – and I don’t know anyone else who is doing [that]. We don’t talk about it. We don’t talk about how much money we’ve given. People are like, “Why don’t you do this, this, this, and this?!” The reason why we don’t talk about it because the essence of humility is not to talk about it. So you either have to trash your own humility to say, “This is what I’ve done,” or you be humble and let other people trash you. And I’ll say, “Well alright, we’re cool, I’m happy with the guys we work with, I’m happy with my friends. I’ll let people trash me.” ”
“The question being, what inspires me the most to give money to the guys on the team is when they do something that I find beautiful.”
“D’Ondrai [Jones] made a video called, “Time.” And I’ve told him this like 5 times since he’s been here. It’s one of my favorite videos ever. [The video has] like 5,000 views on YouTube. Not a lot. That should be, to me, that video is HERE in my book. And so I’m like, “D’Ondrai, whatever you need dude, because we are creating something together.” And that’s family.”
“You give money to your kids. Is that charity? Or is it because you love them? Right? So yeah, there is a business component to everything we do.”
“Life is selfish. We are all selfish. Every action we do in life, if you want to get philosophical, is to get yourself benefit. Even when you give to someone it’s so that you can feel better or something like that. But that’s OK if the heart is right. Right?”
“There are different levels of sponsorship. There is sponsorship where we say, ‘That kid doesn’t have a pair of shoes. Make us a video. You got a video camera? We’ll give you a pair of shoes.’ They just made $50 spending 2 hours making a video. That’s pretty good – that’s a fair exchange. And there are other [levels of sponsorship] where you say, “Wait a second. Your presence.” ”
“Take a video Joey makes. I say, “Joey, I want our brand associated with you because you inspire people.” That’s worth money. So there is that exchange. So sponsorships are different levels, and I think you guys understand [that]. I think [they are all] sponsorships. You can call it affiliates or you can call it ambassadors, call it friendship, call it working together, call it a team, call it whatever you want.
“They are all these labels, right? Bruce Lee talks about it. He talks about labels. But forget the label. What is it? What is the essence of what we do? Do you know the biggest label we have in this group? It’s “Parkour.” I guarantee if we all write down a definition of Parkour, we are going to have 12 different definitions. That’s a label. [We’ve got to] move past that as a group to say, “What are we doing?” Let’s get beyond that and just have something that connects us and then forget all the rest. Let’s do that. As a community, as teams, as gyms.”
“We got off the topic – which I was really enjoying – about why can’t we work together. What can we do? And I think that had a lot more in it and we don’t have to get to it, but I think it’s because of labels. There are a lot of other reasons why. But we can get beyond that and say, “Let’s help people.” Because that’s what it is, right?”
“If you [are selling] shoes, someone is going to say, “Oh, you trying to make money.” Hmm, well yeah, I want to make a living, right? But I also want to bring somebody something they value. That’s what helping people is, right?”
“Money is kind of an accumulation of helping people. There are scamming ways to do it where you cheat people out of money, but [for the most part] if you have a lot of money it means you helped a lot of people. You can look at Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift and say, “Oh you’re just rich,” or whatever. [But] they’ve touched millions and millions and billions of people in their lives. They deserve to have that energy, right?”
“So now I’m getting all philosophical and stuff but these ideas go really deep. I see sponsorships as relationships with people, and we’re building that. And I’ll tell you, the sponsorships we have at Take Flight, I try, first of all, to be honest and open with everybody. It’s never like, “Oh work with us and your life is going to be set,” because that’s not how it works. And #2, it’s, “What’s best for you?” ”
“We were sponsoring Toby. We gave him the biggest contract we ever gave anybody [not counting David Belle]. He actually approached me [for it]. We sponsored him for one year and paid him, and then he came to me and said, “I want to take it to the next level, I want to get paid this much money.” I thought about it and I said, “Ok Toby, I like you a lot, we’ll figure out a way. We’ll do it.” And then stuff started and he wasn’t really as passionate anymore about it, and it was just, “Toby, if you don’t want to work with us anymore, that’s fine dude. That’s fine. Like, I wish you the best. I like you, I like your work, I like your vision, I like what you bring to us, but I’m not here to put you in a cage. If you don’t want to be a part of this, that’s OK.” ”
“That’s the relationship to say, “What’s best for you? How can we help you?” And if we can’t help each other in the right way, then let’s not get married, know what I mean?”
“So I believe in helping people. And I’ve tangented a lot, and I’m sorry for chiming in and cutting everybody off, but the sponsorship talk is about relationships. And some people get sucked in, just like [Parkour] certifications. I think some of the certifications are silly and ridiculous, and I have articles I’ve written about why no one needs a [Parkour] certification, but some people do need it.”
“Everyone finds value, everyone finds a teacher in a different aspect of their life. Whether you follow David [Belle} or the Yamakasi, or Sebastien Foucan, or Parkour Origins, you are going to find something that resonates with you. That’s what’s important in life that we find.”
Here is a snippet from our Parkour Roundabout series. In this clip, Take Flight founder Adam Dunlap, who also founded the Parkour gym Revolution Parkour, talks about the key that made Revolution Parkour successful and how it grew to become one of the biggest Parkour gyms in the USA. If you want to teach Parkour or have a Parkour gym, we think you might find a lot of value in this persepective.
“If I can give one piece of advice to anyone who is listening…, at least for me, the students didn’t care about the obstacles as much as they cared about the teacher. That’s what I found. When we moved to [our] facility we had concrete floors, a couple mats in the middle but the rest was concrete, and we’d have 30 people in a class. I’ll see gyms with crazy stuff that can’t get 30 kids into a class on certain nights. We had that, and it wasn’t because of, “Oh sweet, here’s a wall to jump up on,”…to me it was a relationship I had with the students – I was able to connect with them and inspire them to find something in themselves.”
“I think that Parkour is this new discipline, but it’s not so new the world’s never seen anything like it. I think people find their freedom through different things in life – through art, through Parkour, through martial arts, through different sports, through music – we’ve all discovered it through movement and what we do. But there is something that connects with everybody and so Parkour is one of those things, and if you connect with people in that way, they pick it up.”
To see our Roundabout series please click here!
In 2015 we asked Parkour leaders from around the world to come be a part of the first ever Take Flight Roundabout – an open and candid discussion between Parkour leaders aimed to share ideas, create unity and form relationships to find synergy and grow the Parkour community together. From the more than 70 people we invited to attend, 12 answered the call. They were:
- Adam Dunlap (USA) – Founder and President of Take Flight, Founder of Revolution Parkour, Director of Parkour.com
- Brandee Laird (USA) – Coaching and Curriculum Director at Parkour Visions
- Colin MacDonald (USA) – Parkour Visions Instructor
- Danee Marmolejo (Mexico) – Take Flight Pro, Member of Ollin Freerunning, and Hombre Mono
- D’Ondrai Jones (USA) – Take Flight pro, Founder of BecomeAFreerunner.com, and Founder of Somatic Movement
- Jared Davis (Canada) – Origins Parkour Coach
- Joey Adrian* – Take Flight pro, Team Jiyo Member, Move To Inspire Member, Team Ollin Member
- Kent Johns (USA) – Member of Unparalleled Movement and Member of Move To Inspire
- Rene Scavington (Canada) – Founder of Origins Parkour
- Tom Coppola (Canada) – Coach and Athlete at Origins Parkour
- Tyson Cecka (USA) – Executive Director of Parkour Visions
- Vinnie Coryell (USA) – Owner of Move To Inspire
On November 7th, the group met at Revolution Parkour Gresham, and what ensued was a 3 hour discussion about Parkour gyms, events, competitions, sponsorship, training, and many other subjects. We recorded the entire event, and we’ve split up the discussion into approximately 10 parts which we will be releasing weekly on our YouTube and Facebook.
Here is part 1 of the roundabout titled, “Introduction + How To Start A Parkour Gym.” In this video, the Roundabout kicks off with an introduction by Take Flight founder and event organized Adam Dunlap. This is followed by each participant introducing themselves. Then Tyson Cecka from Parkour Visions, Vinnie Coryell from Move To Inspire, Rene Scavington from Origins Parkour, and Adam Dunlap [formerly] from Revolution Parkour discuss how they opened their gyms, and they give some critical advice to think about if you are interested in opening a Parkour/Freerunning gym of your own.
We hope you enjoy this discussion from Part 1 and all the episodes we have to release. Stay tuned for the following 9 installments releasing on Tuesdays via our YouTube and Facebook.
Special thanks to Ryland Lanagan of Revolution Parkour Gresham for hosting the event and to Niko Pal and Daniel Brogli for helping film this event so we could bring it here to you.
We convinced Take Flight founder Adam Dunlap to open and run a Take Flight Snapchat! So far, he hasn’t quite figured out how to use it, but we’re working on educating him. Since he built Take Flight, we’re sure he will get the hang of it sooner or later lol.
This will surely be the rawest and most unique behind-the-scenes look at Take Flight ever published. We expect it to include video clips from the office, behind the scenes looks at product development, training and travel photos, inspirational advice, and so much more which has never been made public. Go add us on Snapchat at TKFLT for your inside look!
Take Flight founder Adam Dunlap recently released a new Parkour video combining clips of his 10 years of tracing. The video was not put on our YouTube where you’d most likely see it, but rather on a sister platform, Vimeo. Here it is below, embedded for your enjoyment.
There are no flips. Just a lot of jumps and drops. Also, in many of the clips, Adam is wearing our new shoe, the Take Flight Ultra, which launches in one month! Click here to see it, if you haven’t already!
Need some new Parkour & Freerunning shoes? The the Ultras are for you! Click here to check them out!
Today, June 27th, is the birthday of Take Flight founder Adam Dunlap. Every year on his birthday he designates sales and giveaways, and this year he decided to cut prices on shoes so everyone can get a pair.
Today ONLY you can get a pair of our 1.0 shoes for $50 – that’s $35 OFF!! Click here to shop now! The clock is ticking!
**This was an April Fools’ joke. We hope if made you smile :)**
We are thrilled to announce our newest Parkour specific product! We took your input and all the critiques we received on our new backpacks and made something perfect for tracing. It’s our all new Parkour Fanny Pack!
In this video, Take Flight Founder Adam Dunlap, introduces the Parkour Fanny Pack. He also shows how much money you can put into it, and he gives credit to a few great Traceurs for supporting the project. Stay til the end to see him demo it in amazing fashion!
We think you are going to love the new Parkour Fanny Pack. We are making it in 3 awesome colors and satisfaction is guaranteed. Click here to pick up your Parkour Fanny Pack today for only $19.95!
There really is no easy way to say this. Earlier this week, Take Flight Traceur Basilio Montilla died after suffering a head injury sustained while practicing stunt falls. He was knocked unconscious when his head hit the concrete due to an improperly placed crash mat. He was taken to the hospital, and after showing signs of recovery, he suffered a stroke and passed away.
This is the most shocking and saddest news I’ve ever heard in the Parkour world. All our thoughts and prayers go out to Basilio’s family and close friends. Please consider following the link below to support Basilio’s family as they cover medical costs.
Basilio was a humble and creative Traceur that was always looking for new ways to move, explore, and challenge himself. This is how we experienced him at Take Flight, and it lead to the Basilio Explores series which we published through our Facebook page. Close friends of Basilio’s describe him as being the most humble, level-headed, and kind Traceur they knew. More testaments to Basilio’s kindness and impact on others can be read on his Facebook profile here.
Basilio will be greatly missed by many, including myself and all of us at Take Flight.
Parkour.com is back, and at Take Flight we are pleased to be one of the first to announce the news! A few details you should know about the site:
#1. I, Adam Dunlap, am managing the site’s development. I am the founder and President of Take Flight, however, I will not be running or developing Parkour.com with a focus on the Take Flight brand. For now, Take Flight simply serves as a financial partner for Parkour.com, and they are providing a good marketing boost through their networks to get the site off the ground.
#2. The vision for the site is to bring the Parkour world together in one unbiased place that represents Traceurs, teams, Parkour communities, and training styles from all around the world. We want Traceurs everywhere to feel a part of the site, to feel represented, and find value in the article writing, video creation, and other aspects we plan to bring to it. You can see this neutral and all-supportive vision already reflected by who Parkour.com is following on Facebook and Instagram.
#3. Invites to be a part of the site have already been sent to all major teams and organizations in the Parkour world. I actually did this myself so there would be no confusion about the foundation and vision of the site. If I didn’t send you an invite (I’m sure I missed a lot of people) we’d love to have you on board.
#4. To support the site, we are only asking two small things: like the social media pages and share them with your audience and friends!
As the manager of Take Flight, I can take a step out of my Parkour.com-shoes for a second, and speak for Take Flight by saying, we are proud to do our small part to support Parkour.com and the future of a collective, unified Parkour world. As the manager of Parkour.com, I can say I hope that all Traceurs and teams from around the world come on board to support and expand this initiative.
Thank you for reading this article and supporting Parkour.com. Stay tuned for more news about the site, and also, please click the link below to follow Parkour.com, and share these pages to help spread the word!
**This event is FREE, and everyone is invited to attend as spectators. The panelist guest list is towards the bottom of this article.**
This November we are hosting the 1st ever Take Flight Roundabout! It’s an event envisioned by Take Flight founder Adam Dunlap and Take Flight pro Joey Adrian, and we think it will be unlike anything ever done before in the Parkour world. In one sentence, it’s a sit-down discussion between all the most prominent and influential Traceurs in the world broadcasted for everyone to see. Following is the exact Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
The Take Flight Roundabout is designed to be semi-formal discussion by and between the Parkour community leaders from around the world. Think of it like a UN type meeting but with prominent Traceurs. There will be discussion starters and specific topics of conversation, but most of it will be freestyle, and we hope that with a diverse group of participants it will be an exciting and progressive time of sharing ideas, telling stories, and finding unity and synergy across the Parkour world. Our hope is to stream the event LIVE for everyone to watch, and we will be filming the discussion and posting in online.
Portland, Oregon (USA). Exact location to be determined. Event time is 6PM PST. Live stream and video will be launched at www.youtube.com/tkflt
November 7th, 2015. Event time is 6PM PST (6pm L.A. time)
The “who” has 2 groups:
#1. Attendees. We invite everyone in the Parkour world, literally everyone, to attend and watch the discussion in person and meet the panelists! The event is free to attend if you can make it. If you are from out of town and you want to travel to the event and you need a place to stay, let us know and we will help you find one for your time here.
#2. Panelists. Panelists are prominent Traceurs who will be participating in the discussion. Right now our confirmed guest list is:
- Adam Dunlap (USA)
- Danee Marmolejo (Mexico)
- D’Ondrai Jones (USA)
- Jared Davis (CAN)
- Joey Adrian* (USA)
- Kent Johns (USA)
- Rene Scavington (CAN)
- Tom Coppola (CAN)
- Vinnie Coryell (USA)
*Joey Adrian will also be this year’s discussion moderator
Other Invitees are (not all have yet received personal invitations):
- Alexander Bayturin
- Alexandr Gisych (Shade)
- Alex Segura
- Alyssa Serpa
- Andy Haug
- Basilio Montilla
- Brandee Laird
- Callum Powell
- Charles Brunet
- Cordelia Storm
- Cory DeMeyers
- Daer Sanchez
- Dan Iaboni
- Daniel Arroyo
- Daniel Ilabaca
- Dima Gluschenko
- Felix Stockli-Iseli
- Jason Paul
- Jesse La Flaire
- Kie Willis
- Luci Romberg
- Luis Alkmim
- Luke Fredericksen
- Matthew Lee Willis
- Max Henry
- Nikolay Stasolik
- Oscar Sanchez
- Pasha Petkuns
- Paul Darnell
- Paul Joseph (Blue)
- Pedro Salgado
- Pip Andersen
- Ronnie Shalvis
- Ryan Ford
- Shaun Wood
- Sydney Olsen
- Thibaut Granier
- Thomas Mougne
- Tim Shieff
- Toby Segar
- Tyson Cecka
- Yann Masia
- Yoann Leroux
- And many others!
For this first year, although we will provide food and accommodations for all attending panelists, we can only pay transportation for a few. For this reason we don’t know if anyone in the above list will be able to attend except for those already confirmed. But we hope many of them can, and if nothing else, we hope this list shows you our vision for this event as an annual global meeting of the minds.
Our vision for this event is to bring community leaders together to discuss important ideas, understand each other better, build relationships, and find unity and synergy. At Take Flight, we believe that as a Parkour community, we can accomplish more together than we can all doing our own thing. So we see this event as an open meeting of the minds for people to share ideas, propose new concepts, resolve potential or building interpersonal matters, and tell great stories. We think the Parkour world as a whole will benefit immensely by seeing this respected and prominent group of Traceurs speak candidly together, and we hope to foster that openness. What exactly comes from that, we aren’t 100% sure! But we think it will be progressive, unifying, and very worthwhile, not to mention entertaining.
This is meant to be a progressive discussion that is focused and also dynamic and spontaneous. We don’t consider any questions or ideas off limits as long as they are focused around the PK/FR world and Traceurs therein. So if you have a topic you want to see discussed, or a question you want to see answered by a confirmed panelist, please let us know by writing in the comments below or sending your question to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Current tentative topics of conversation include:
- How to start a Parkour gym
- Training ideas & how David Belle used to train
- The future of public Parkour parks
- Parkour certifications
- Team Sponsorships vs. Company Sponsorships
- The future of Parkour.com
We’ll be releasing more information as the panelist list grows. Stay tuned for the event and news! We hope you can attend or tune in for the broadcast and videos!