If there was one word to describe Jason House it would be passion. And if there was one word to sum up how the president of Iridium Sports Agency runs his company, it would be family. Those two things are a powerful combination and that is why House has been successful with Iridium Sports Agency.
It’s easy now in 2013 to say that the company is successful with a roster of over fifty fighters. But one does not simply wake up and get fifty fighters on their roster. One has to put in the time, the energy, and most of all build the relationships in order to earn the trust of that many fighters. After all, as a fighter you are asking a manager to manage your career and look out for what is best for you. Should you fail at that task, well word will get out quick.
For House, the dream started before 2009. While putting himself through law school he was working at MMA Agents, one of the largest and most popular MMA management companies in the business. But things weren’t working out exactly as House had wanted and he left the company. He passed the Bar Exam and sat down with the one person whom he relied on for advice: his dad. House recalls, “I sat down with my dad and talked to him about everything, to discuss my options. I knew I wanted to stay in this industry and he supported that. He told me to go after it, to take a chance on the opportunity. He said that if I didn’t, I would look back later in life and regret it. He loaned me the money to start the LLC and said worst case if the business doesn’t work out, I could go get a job at a law firm and go back to practicing law.”
With a check in his hand, less than a month after passing the Bar Exam, Iridium Sports Agency was legally formed. House worked hard in the early days of the company, working long hours during the day for his clients, hoping to earn enough money to support himself. But of course the money didn’t start flowing in and he was forced, like many professional fighters, to take a second job. For House, it was waiting tables at night.
The hard work continued and with various amounts of success and failures. One success was also a learning lesson for House when he booked Liron Wilson for a King of the Cage fight. House made no money off of the fight, but had a blast driving Wilson to the fight and watching everything. He was so excited that he walked out of the arena without collecting his client’s check. He went back in and got it, but not before Wilson called him a rookie and teased him much like family would.
And that’s how he runs his company. There’s a fine line that managers must take as they are both their client’s boss and employee at the same time. But for House and the team at Iridium Sports Agency, they work with each client as if they were a family.
“The way I like to work at it is a team atmosphere or a family atmosphere. I think you have to be on the same level as that client to truly understand where they are at. A lot of the fighters and coaches we have a good relationship with. When you have a good relationship you are a team and you know what is going on through good communication. When there’s good communication you work well together.”
And it is this open communication that has kept many of his clients happy. Unlike some managers who have been coming under fire for shady management practices trying to line their own pockets with as much cash as possible by forcing sponsors to sponsor several fighters or none at all, House takes a different approach. If a sponsor comes to him and asks to sponsor a specific fighter, he works for that singular deal. And it isn’t until after the deal has been made does he bring up other fighters who might also compliment the company. By being honest with not only the fighters, but with sponsors, it has helped establish Iridium Sports Agency as a top tier management company.
It was always a lot of hard work for House. So much so that finically the company was in dire need of something big to happen. And like he did when he passed the bar just two years prior, House sat down with his dad. He explained the situation to him and was humble and honest. He was close to walking away all together.
“There was a point in 2011 when things were tight. I was going through some adversary to the point where I had to borrow some more money. I thought I was failing at it. I will never forget, I asked my dad for some cash on a Thursday and I thought “God if this is meant to be, you need to give me a sign.” I was getting pretty defeated. Then on Monday, I got Reuben Duran in the UFC. He was the first guy I had gotten into the UFC. He was the first that I had built up and got into the show. And that one signing catapulted things. The next year I got several more people into the UFC, almost like a snowball effect. I knew I was blessed.”
Now with the success of several fighters being signed to the UFC and to big sponsors, House isn’t sitting back and relaxing. He is still working just as hard as ever with his fighters and his team at Iridium as he knows he is doing something right. He looks to his team for motivation as it is his team, his family, and some of his best friends that all are motivated to do what they do and that inspires him to press on and work harder. As House said about the fighters he works with, “We are really blessed to work with the guys I have. It is fun. I do this because I love it.”