Jury awards former basketball star Michael Jordan $8.9 million in brand case: reports

Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:59am EDT
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CHICAGO (Reuters) - A jury awarded retired basketball player Michael Jordan $8.9 million in his lawsuit against a grocery store chain that used his name in a one-page magazine advertisement without his permission, the Chicago Tribune and other local media reported.

Jordan, 52, led the Chicago Bulls to six National Basketball Association championships in the 1990s. He retired from professional basketball 12 years ago.

The jury deliberated six hours after a two-week trial in federal court in Chicago, and decided on the award amount on Friday evening.

Jordan took the stand earlier in the week to claim he should be paid $10 million, which his business managers said was the fair market value for the advertisement, which appeared in a 2009 commemorative edition of Sports Illustrated to celebrate his career.

Attorneys for the defendants, now-defunct Dominick's Finer Foods, a division of Safeway [MRWAY.UL], had claimed the advertisement was worth far less, around $127,000.

Jordan told reporters he was pleased with the jury's decision and said he would donate the money to charity, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

Last year he made $100 million from marketing his image through long-term deals with companies such as Nike, Hanes and Gatorade.

(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Former basketball great Michael Jordan delivers a speech as he attends a party celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan shoe line in Paris, France June 12, 2015.   REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes