Michael Jordan added another win to his resume, although this victory was in court and not on the court. Jordan was awarded $8.9 million as a result of a lawsuit against Safeway, owner of the now-defunct Dominick’s supermarket chain that was based out of Chicago, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
In 2009, Dominick’s used Jordan’s name in an ad without his permission in a commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The ad included a $2 off coupon for steak, and Rovell said the coupon was only redeemed twice.
Safeway argued that Jordan should be paid just $126,900 for the use of his name, but sports economist Andrew Zimbalist testified that his fair market value for the ad was $10 million. The jury deliberated for six hours before deciding on $8.9 million, and Jordan was pleased with the verdict:
“I’m pleased with today’s verdict,” Jordan said in a statement. “No one — whether or not they’re a public figure — should have to worry about their identity being used without their permission. The case was not about the money as I plan to donate the proceeds to charity. It was about honesty and integrity. I hope this case sends a clear message, both here in the United States and around the world, that I will continue to be vigilant about protecting my name and identity. I also hope the size of the monetary reward will deter others from using someone else’s identity and believe they will only pay a small penalty.”
The case revealed some of Jordan’s massive endorsement income, which includes $480 million from Nike from 2000 to 2012. He’s clearly still doing pretty, pretty, pretty well for himself.