Supermarket Chain Ordered To Pay $8.9 Million To Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

The owner of a supermarket chain has been ordered to pay Michael Jordan $8.9 million for using his name, without his permission, to promote a product in an ad.

According to ESPN, a jury deliberated for six hours before handing down the verdict Friday night (August 21) in federal court in Chicago.

Lawyers for Safeway, the owner of the now-defunct Chicago-based chain Dominick's, argued that Jordan should be paid $126,900 for the use of his name in a 2009 ad the chain placed in a commemorative issue Sports Illustrated, which was published for Jordan's induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

However, Jordan's lawyers and Jordan himself testified that his endorsement history suggests he wouldn't have taken that amount.

During the trial, Jordan's legal team disclosed for the first time some of his endorsement income, including $480 million that was paid to him by Nike from 2000 to 2012, while he turned down an $80 million offer to endorse headphones.

"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."