Now defunct grocery chain Dominick’s has lost in a big way to former NBA champion and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan. As it turns out what appeared to be a harmless steak promotion (a $2 coupon) will become the costliest campaign in a supermarket’s history. Yesterday, a Chicago jury ordered the chain to pay Jordan $8.9 million because they used his name on an ad without permission. Parent company Safeway will be footing the bill since Dominick’s no longer exists. The ad appeared in a 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated congratulating Jordan on his induction into the hall of fame. Right below the message was a coupon good for two dollars off a Dominick’s steak.
“It is my name, and I’ve worked hard for it for 30-something years, and I’m not just going to let someone take it,” a happy-looking Jordan said outside the courthouse, reports the Chicago Tribune. Jordan says this case was more about principle than it was money. Since Jordan is worth over a billion dollars we’d have to take his word on this one. Jordan promised to donate the money to Chicago charities. Jordan even plugged his own steakhouse after the verdict.