BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby, the national governing body for the sport of rugby in the United States, today announced a groundbreaking new partnership with the global leader in sports, fashion and media, IMG.
The 10-year agreement with IMG will focus on the branding and marketing of USA Rugby’s Collegiate National Championship weekend as well as USA Rugby’s College 7s National Championship. While USA Rugby has been pleased with the recent improvements in competition, live stream production, and host venues for the Men’s D1A and Division I-AA Championships, as well as Women’s DI and DII Championships, aligning with IMG will further the positive growth and exposure of these events.
“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.”
With more than 50 years of experience in growing global audiences, IMG’s expertise in the promotion and marketing of sports and entertainment, as well as the organization’s strong relationships with universities, and sponsors, will benefit the entire college rugby landscape. Additionally, IMG has preexisting expertise in rugby, having been the exclusive commercial representative for the IRB Rugby World Cup since 1995, managing sponsorship, commercial ticketing, television rights distribution, and licensing for the tournament.
“IMG is thrilled to form a long-term relationship with USA Rugby,” stated IMG Senior Vice President Jay Ogden. “Our global footprint and knowledge of event and commercial management will help strengthen USA Rugby’s presence in the U.S. and ensure student-athletes enjoy the highest level of competition.”
The collaborative marketing and promotion of USA Rugby’s College National Championships will begin immediately, and will aim to positively enhance both the Men’s and Women’s 15s and 7s National Championships beginning in the spring of 2015.
“We are delighted that IMG chose to support rugby at this important and exciting time for the game,” said USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville. “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 programs each year can compete for the honor 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, recognized Championship for each competitive division is the best way to enhance the sport in America.”
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion and media operating in more than 25 countries around the world. IMG’s businesses include Events & Media, College, Golf, Tennis, Performance and IMG Academy, Fashion, Models, Clients, Consulting, Licensing, Joint Ventures, and creative management agency Art + Commerce. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment and media agency. Together, the companies offer an unparalleled client roster; strategic partnerships with sponsors and brands; and marquee assets across sports, entertainment, events, music and fashion.
ABOUT USA RUGBY
Established in 1975, USA Rugby is the governing body for the sport of rugby in America and a Full Sport Member of the United States Olympic Committee. Currently headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA Rugby is charged with developing the game on all levels and has more than 100,000 active members, with more than 35,000 playing collegiate rugby and 35,000 playing senior club rugby. USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple collegiate and high school All-American sides, and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes. It also hosts more than 30 national playoff and championship events each year as a service to its members. In October 2009, the International Olympic Committee announced Rugby Sevens (the seven-a-side version of the game) will appear in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro. Visit www.usarugby.org for more information or follow us on Twitter @USARugby.
USA Rugby is now Work For It rugby.