Michael Jordan just received a massive settlement after this court case. A supermarket was ordered to pay the six-time NBA champion $8.9 million for using his name as a means of promotion for an ad without his consent.
Safeway’s now non-existent grocery-chain, Dominick’s, reportedly placed the ad featuring the hall of famer — which promoted coupons for steak — in a 2009 commemorative Sports Illustrated issue. The former Chicago Bulls player also released a statement on the ruling.
“I’m pleased with today’s verdict. 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.”
This isn’t the first time MJ had to take certain companies or brands to court for imitating his persona. According to ESPN, a Chinese based entity, Qiaodan Sports, also usurped Jordan’s image. They used the legendary athlete’s famed jersey number 23, and created a logo similar to the Jumpman for their apparel. However, Jordan lost this case.