Jordan Awarded $8.9 Million in Advertising Dispute

On Friday, August 21, the six year legal battle between Michael Jordan and now-defunct Chicago-area supermarket, Dominick’s, has finally ended with Jordan securing yet another victory.

A federal court jury in Chicago returned a verdict in Jordan’s favor, awarding him $8.9 million for the unauthorized use of his brand.  The litigation, lasting six years, stemmed from an ad run in the 2009 commemorative Sports Illustrated magazine, celebrating Jordan’s induction into the hall of fame.  The advertisement included a congratulatory statement to Jordan in addition to a $2 coupon for steak at the Chicago-area grocer.  It is reported that only two people redeemed the coupon that ultimately cost the company $8.9 million and plenty of legal fees.

With fault already determined, last week’s trial focused on the amount Jordan should be compensated for the unauthorized use of his likeness. Safeway, new owner of the grocer, argued he deserved only $125,000. Jordan’s economist testified the fair market value to be $10 million. Jordan, pleased with the result, said it was never about the money, but honesty and integrity. He stated that he believes no one should have to worry about their identity being used without permission and hopes the high award will deter others.  Jordan intends to donate his winnings to charity.

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