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Written by Dee Lockett

Commercial Appeal

With more than 100,000 YouTube subscribers, Jesse La Flair turned his highlight reel into commercials for Fruit of the Loom, Skechers, and Toyota. Get the attention of sponsors, pro traceurs, and Hollywood using his personal branding tips.

1.  Create a reel: Practice using smooth camera moves vs. static shots while filming. “Nowadays, it’s important to express your next-level moves in cinematic quality,” says La Flair. To attract sponsors like his, put product placement in your reel, like close-ups of shoes. Post the video on your YouTube channel to attract subscribers, and use Google AdSense to find keywords that attract people to your videos. (Start with “parkour,” “freerunning,” and “shoes.”)


2.  Engage fans: When fans reach out, offering personalized responses can help build an audience. “It’s one thing to answer 400 messages asking what shoes I was wearing in a video,” says La Flair, “but it’s another to talk directly to a fan who may be struggling and give him advice.” Addressing people’s questions directly creates a following.


3.  Network: Take advantage of opportunities to meet the right people online and in person. Interact with other traceurs on Reddit, Facebook, and Meetup. Join parkour and freerunning groups. Volunteer or coach at a local facility, and help develop programs at a community-based gym. “I trained for years alone, and still do sometimes,” says La Flair. “But I gain so much from working with people at Team Tempest who are more talented, older, and who I look up to.”


4.  Differentiate yourself: Show off your personality. “The movement itself is personal, but after I started putting out YouTube tutorials I realized how connected it got me with fans,” says La Flair. Let people know who you are beyond the activity. Share things fans can relate to, like new parkour spots or injury war stories.


5.  Grind: Use your personal brand to your advantage. In job interviews, highlight your social media following as an example of your brand’s reach. “I’ve been booking commercials that aren’t just exclusive to parkour because they see I’m a professional parkour athlete with the No. 1 most-subscribed YouTube channel in the world,” says La Flair.