USA Rugby, the national governing body for the sport of rugby in the United States, has announced a groundbreaking 10-year partnership with the global leader in sports, fashion and media, IMG.
Although USA Rugby is said to be pleased with the recent improvements in competition, live stream production and host venues for the Men's Division 1A and Division I-AA National Championships, as well as the Women's DI and DII National Championships, it is hoped that aligning with IMG will further the positive growth and exposure of these events.
The US played the All Blacks in a landmark match at Chicago's Soldier Field yesterday, which was considered a success, despite the visitors winning 74-6.
They have also qualified for next year's Rugby World Cup in England with their matches due to be screened live on Universal Sports and NBC.
"We are delighted that IMG chose to support rugby at this important and exciting time for the game," said USA Rugby chief executive Nigel Melville, a former England captain.
"Combining these strengths will enable us to build a superb National Championship competition in both 7s and 15s - National Championships that are open to all and where the best programmes each year can compete for the honour of being crowned national champions.
"While there have been collegiate rugby postseasons played outside of USA Rugby's official Championships in recent years, we are confident that teaming with IMG to create a single, recognised Championship for each competitive division is the best way to enhance the sport in America."
IMG has more than 50 years of experience in growing global audiences, offering expertise in the promotion and marketing of sports and entertainment, and has strong relationships with universities and sponsors.
Additionally, IMG has pre-existing expertise in rugby, having been the exclusive commercial representative for the International Rugby Board (IRB) Rugby World Cup since 1995, managing sponsorship, commercial ticketing, television rights distribution and licensing for the tournament.
"USA Rugby and IMG will make a powerful team in transforming our National Championships into the ultimate competition in the United States for college rugby," said USA Rugby collegiate director Rich Cortez.
"IMG's association with the development of major athletic events speaks volumes of the strategic direction and possibilities of college rugby in America."
Jay Ogden, IMG senior vice-president, added: "IMG is thrilled to form a long-term relationship with USA Rugby.
"Our global footprint and knowledge of event and commercial management will help strengthen USA Rugby's presence in the US and ensure student athletes enjoy the highest level of competition."
USA Rugby currently oversees an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes.
In October 2009, the International Olympic Committee announced rugby sevens will make its Olympic debut at Rio 2016.
October 2014: Universal Sports and NBC to offer live coverage of Rugby World Cup 2015
April 2014: Cities in USA invited to bid to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018
June 2013: USA join race to host 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens
December 2011: United States contemplating bid for 2023 Rugby World Cup
February 2011: Exciting times for rugby in US, says IRB chairman