CHICAGO (CBS) — More than a decade after his retirement, Michael Jordan is still one of the most popular athletes in America.
Jordan was back in federal court on Monday for the civil trial over unauthorized use of his image and a sports economist testified on Jordan’s lawsuit against the parent company of the now defunct Dominick’s grocery store chain, which used his name and jersey number in a 2009 magazine ad without his permission. The ad congratulated Jordan for his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and offered customers a coupon for $2 off steaks at Dominick’s.READ MORE: Families Fight To Keep Memorial Trees Offered Through Chicago Park District After Being Told Of Golf Course Plans
Jordan is asking for $10 million in damages.
Jordan retired in 2003 but according to sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, the superstar was still the most popular athlete in the country in 2009. In court Zimbalist explained a Q score that rates an athletes’ popularity.
He said 100 people were asked to name their favorite sports star. Jordan scored 50 points. His closest competitor, the world’s number one golfer at the time, Tiger Woods, but he only got 44 points.READ MORE: Mother Who Heard Shots, Death Of Adam Toledo Shares What She Heard, Neighborhood Insight
Jordan’s popularity with the public means he also wins in the product endorsement category. He earned $75 million in 2012, almost twice as much as his closest competitors who still playing the game, Lebron James made $40 million and Kobe Bryant, $32 million.
For Jordan, endorsements continue to grow every year. In 2014, Jordan earned $100 million. That was more money than he made for all the years he played with the Bulls, 1984 to 1998.
Last week, Jordan’s business advisor testified he doesn’t enter into deals for less than $10 million, although lawyers for Dominick’s contend that overstates the market value of their ad, and they got Jordan’s business adviser to admit he’d agreed to previous deals worth less than $10 million, including a $500,000 deal with Sirius satellite radio, though Jordan’s attorneys contend the exposure from that commercial was worth $25 million to his brand.MORE NEWS: Protesters Pack Logan Square Over Police Shooting Of Adam Toledo
Since his retirement from playing basketball, he’s earned more than $500 million from endorsements.