In a 2009 ad campaign that ran in Sports Illustrated, Safeway-owned supermarket chain Dominick’s utilized Michael Jordan’s name and infamous Chicago Bulls jersey number without his permission.


Much to the dislike of the NBA player, the ad related Jordan to a piece of Rancher’s Reserve meat with the caption “a cut above.” The advertisement was originally meant to celebrate Jordan’s induction into the Hall of Fame, but instead, it offended the athlete. Jordan explains that if he was aware of the ad, he would have never have agreed to let it be published.


Michael Jordan took the Dominick’s ad to court where the judge ruled that Safeway, the owner of Dominick’s, must pay Jordan $8.9 million in damages. But while Jordan claims that the case was “never about the money,” he and his team of lawyers originally sought $10 million worth in damages.

Jordan explains that his outrage over the advertisement stemmed from the fact that Dominick’s utilized an image which he worked so hard to create. He explains,


“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.”

He claims that he would “never” agree to be featured on an ad which was valued at less than $10 million. When asked if he had ever tried a Rancher’s Reserve steak, he replied, “No, I got a Michael Jordan Steakhouse over here!”

[via Chicago Tribune]