CHICAGO (CN) – Basketball great Michael Jordan has scored big in court, winning an $8.9 million judgment against a now-defunct grocery chain for using his name in a steak ad without permission.
A federal jury ordered the award against Dominick’s and its parent company Safeway on Friday night.
The former Chicago Bulls star sued the supermarket for using his name in an ad it placed in a 2009 commemorative edition of Sports Illustrated magazine celebrating his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. It stated:”Congratulations Michael Jordan …You are a cut above,” and included a $2 coupon for steak.
Despite his name’s apparent hefty price tag, Jordan told reporters it was never about the money, and that he plans to donate it to charity.
“It is my name and I’ve worked hard for it for 30-something years,” he told the Chicago Tribune.
Jordan has also sued another grocery chain, Jewel-Osco and its parent company Supervalu. Jewel ran an ad in the same magazine issue as Dominick’s, but did not use Jordan’s name or include a coupon, instead featuring a picture of basketball shoes with the number 23 on them.
According to a decision written in March, Jordan needs to show that Jewel’s ad served a commercial purpose. That trial is slated for December.
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