Billionaire and retired basketball star Michael Jordan is a bit richer this week after winning a massive lawsuit against the Dominick’s grocery chain. Jordan told reporters that the lawsuit was about pride more than wanting to win money, but a jury awarded him $8.9 million anyway.
According to the Chicago Tribune, in 2009 Dominick’s, which is owned by Safeway, reportedly used Jordan’s name in an ad for steak without getting his permission. The ad ran in a special edition of Sports Illustrated magazine and came with a coupon for $2 off a steak.
Jordan was asking for $10 million in compensation, but the grocery chain’s lawyers said they should only have to pay $126,000, arguing that was what a “hypothetical deal” between Dominick’s and Jordan could have been reached for.
Jordan maintained he never would have agreed to the Dominick’s deal and testified that he only signs long-term deals that were expected to earn $10 million. Last year Jordan reportedly earned $100 million from endorsements.
The jury sided with Jordan and awarded him $8.9 million. Jordan, who is a billionaire, said he planned to give the money to charity.
"It was all just about protecting my name and my likeness," Jordan said.