2015 Rising PR Stars: Ray De Lorenzi, Senior Vice President, CLS Strategies

Active in CLS Strategies’ crisis/litigation and public affairs practices, Ray De Lorenzi provides strategic guidance to Fortune 500 companies, plaintiffs in high-stakes litigation and influential trade associations.

De Lorenzi is a leading force behind the winning media strategy for the plaintiffs’ committee representing thousands of former retired NFL players suing the league. He and his team wrote the playbook on how to transform a niche legal story into a public interest issue that the Associated Press ranked as one of the top 10 sports stories of 2012 and 2013.

The lawsuit received coverage in the nation’s most prominent outlets. The once-overlooked crisis of head injuries in football, in turn, received widespread attention from the public, health experts and President Obama.

Today, no journalist or commentator can discuss the NFL without acknowledging the risks posed by concussions. In August 2013, after sustained public pressure, the NFL agreed to an historic settlement. Last year, in recognition of this successful effort, PR Daily awarded CLS Strategies the Grand Prize for Media Relations Campaign of the Year.

On April 22, 2015 after months of negotiations, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted final approval of the NFL concussion settlement. De Lorenzi developed the media plan, which would roll out this achievement to retired players, media and the interested public so they understood the terms of the agreement and the impact on those depending on these new benefits.