NFL makes another major P.R. hire

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Big Shield needs a lot of polish. And thus another key employee has been hired to help keep the tarnish away. Or at least to distract us from it.

In addition to Joe Lockhart, the relatively new in-house P.R. czar, the NFL has now hired Natalie Ravitz to serve as senior V.P. of communications, via

Ravitz spent three years, from 2012 through 2015, as Rupert Murdoch’s Chief of Staff at News Corp. She will report to Lockhart.

The move brings more political experience to the league office, which suggests that the NFL has decided based on a variety of P.R. problems in recent years to rely on the expertise crafted by folks who operate in an industry that entails constant P.R. challenges.

The new approach recently was demonstrated in very aggressive detail as Lockhart engineered a free-for-all against the New York Times based on a report citing flawed concussion research and specious links to Big Tobacco.

Big Shield isn’t Big Tobacco. Still, with some of the best P.R. talent in America now on the payroll, Big Shield will be getting even bigger.

24 responses to “NFL makes another major P.R. hire

  1. Great. Now the NFL can be more like politics. That should be fun.

  2. Umm, Lockhart is a PR guy? Was he actively working on making the NFL look even more stupid with his responses to the Times? Why do I see him working with Goodell looking over his shoulder going “Yeah, write that. That’s good.”?

  3. Ya Think she would have immediately corrected the erroneous PSI levels instead of letting them stay out there like they were the truth ?

  4. First priority, create a blue ribbon panel to improve the perception of integrity in the league. Ray Rice, Ray Lewis, Aaron Hernandez and Greg Hardy will be the first hires. Jim Dunaway, Darrell Russell, O.J. Simpson and Rae Carruth are on Goodell’s short list. Don’t forget Mike Kensil. But the leader of Goodell’s panel will be none other than Robert Rozier. Rozier will collect “things” on anybody associated with the Patriots organization, and deliver them to Goodell (similar to the things he used to bring back to his cult leader).

  5. Oh boy. I guess that means they won’t have to ask for anyone’s phone anymore. They will just hack it to get what they need.

  6. To do his job right, the new PR guy needs to manage Goodell – by tying him up, gagging him and locking him in a closet until his contract is done.

  7. 345snarkavenue says:
    May 5, 2016 4:20 PM

    by the way, what happened to that lawsuit that was threatened against the Times?

    It died right after the NYT called out Goodell and his cronies for being liars.

    It’s amazing how many times that Goodell and liar appear in the same sentence.

  8. 345snarkavenue says:
    May 5, 2016 4:20 PM
    what happened to that lawsuit that was threatened against the Times?
    The NFL are still preparing their line: “Yes, your honor, the NY Times may have reported the facts, but in doing so they made us look bad.”

  9. Natalie Ravitz comes from Rupurt Murdoch’s NewsCorp, which is kind of like the UK equivalent of the National Enquirer minus the Enquirer’s standards for journalism.

    Are they trying to shine up the shield or just build a fence around it?

  10. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is one of the sleaziest corporations in the world. His “News of the World” tabloid paper was involved in a nasty scandal in Great Britain for hacking the phones and emails of celebrities. Murdoch also owns Fox News, which is also extremely controversial about their self-proclaimed “fair and balanced” slogan. Natalie Ravitz will fit right in with the NFL.

  11. Natalie Ravitz new unofficial title will be “Gaslighting Director.” I was told she’s been in contact with John Podesta, who has been instrumental in such gaslighting events like “If you like your healthcare plan you can keep your healthcare plan” that went to “What we said was if you like your healthcare plan you can keep your healthcare plan as long as it was met the criteria of the new law”.

    In other words she’ll be driving everyone crazy 15 minutes after the next big event.

  12. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says:
    May 5, 2016 5:58 PM

    What, they ran out of Jets candidates?

    No. They only get hired to be Goodell’s lackeys.

    They’re also the reason they need all of the extra PR people.

  13. Honestly, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. The NFL, like any corporation, is looking to protect their image. As much as we all like to rip on them for their slip ups, they still provide a damn good product on the field. None of us would be here commenting unless that was the case.

    In any event, Natalie Ravitz seems like a talented professional who should help Goodell keep his foot out of his mouth.

  14. I think we’re all looking at this wrong. If I was Natalie Ravitz, I wouldn’t take this job without assurances that I could discuss changing NFL policies internally. Communications can only help so much if your employer keeps doing crazy things. I’m hoping that somehow Ravitz can provide Goodell with helpful input on what makes sense and what doesn’t – she seems pretty reasonable from all the sources I’ve read.

  15. This is certainly an intriguing hire. I wonder how many more the NFL plans to make after Joe Lockhart and now Natalie Ravitz. While these two names certainly have big reputations preceding them, companies usually need a sizeable operation to maintain truly positive communications and press relations. If I was the NFL, I’d supplement these hires with some more foot soldiers on the ground to carry out whatever strategy the higher ups deem fit.

  16. I think my preference is for the league’s hire of Natalie Ravitz to make communications fade into the background. Honestly, as Joseph Snowden said above, the main thing here is the product on the field. I want to see good old fashioned football and not have to hear about concussions, domestic violence, bla bla bla. Put on a helmet and a jock strap and let’s play the game boys!

  17. I think we need a hybrid of the strategy that Carl mentioned and the one espoused on the rest of this thread. We need to get players to announce a tackle football game between various members of Goodell’s staff. I’d pay to see Goodell in full pads 😛

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