(CBS) — A federal jury says a supermarket company must pay former Bulls star Michael Jordan $8.9 million for using the basketball legend’s name and jersey number in a 2009 ad without his permission.
The jury made the decision Friday evening following a trial that focused on the value of Jordan’s name.
The money would have to be paid by Safeway Inc., parent company of the now-defunct Chicago supermarket chain, Dominick’s. The chain took out an ad without the retired athlete’s permission, congratulating Jordan on his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame; the ad included a steak coupon.
Jordan smiled and shook attorney Fred Sperling’s hand when the award was announced. Other members of his legal team hugged.
Jordan said the money will be donated to charities in Chicago, where his career took off.
“It was never, never about the money,” Jordan told reporters at Chicago’s federal courthouse. “It was about the principle of protecting my name and my likeness. I just felt like someone took advantage of it, and I’m glad the courts totally understood that today.”
During the trial, Jordan’s representatives said he fiercely protects his name and image and does not charge less than $10 million for a commercial campaign. Jordan has authorized the use of his name for charitable purposes.
Jordan has a similar dispute with the Jewel supermarket chain.