Jury awards Michael Jordan big win, $8.9M for name's use
* Dominick’s Finer Foods, which was owned by Safeway, was found liable
* The ad congratulated Jordan on his Hall of Fame induction and included a $2-off coupon above a photo of a sizzling steak
* Jordan added that the case 'was never about money' and that he'll give the damages awarded to charities in Chicago
* Evidence presented during trial provided a peek at Jordan's extraordinary wealth, including the $480million he made from Nike alone
Jurors at a civil trial focused on the market value of Michael Jordan's identity have handed him a major win, ordering a grocery-store chain to pay him $8.9million for invoking his name in a steak ad without his permission.
The amount was close to the $10million his attorneys said the one-time use of his name was worth and Jordan hugged his lawyers after the decision was read Friday night in a federal court in Chicago, where Jordan won six NBA titles with the Bulls.
'I'm so used to playing on a different court,' a visibly delighted Jordan told reporters outside the courthouse.
'This shows I will protect my name to the fullest. ... It's my name and I worked hard for it ... and I'm not just going to let someone take it.'
Michael Jordan smiles at reporters after a jury ordered a defunct grocery store chain to pay him $8.9million for using his name without permission
Jordan added that the case 'was never about money' and that he'll give the damages award to charities in Chicago.
Stepping back into the courthouse, two jurors asked him for a photograph and he obliged by throwing his arms around them and smiling for a cellphone camera.
A judge ruled before trial that the now-defunct Dominick's Finer Foods, which was owned by Safeway, was liable after it used an unauthorized ad in a 2009 Sports Illustrated.
It congratulated Jordan on his Hall of Fame induction and included a $2-off coupon above a photo of a sizzling steak.
Jurors deliberated for six hours before returning with the $8.9million figure, at one point sending a note to the judge that said, 'We need a calculator.'
Jordan's fame loomed over the case, with one would-be juror struck from the jury pool after describing Jordan as his idol.
During closings Friday, Jordan attorney Frederick Sperling appealed to city pride in trying to persuade jurors to side with Jordan.
'He gave us six championships,' he told jurors, Jordan sitting nearby.
Steven Mandell, the Dominick's attorney, told jurors he was also proud of Jordan's accomplishments in sports.
Team player: Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls for most of his career
A grocery-store chain owned by Safeway used Jordan's name without permission in an ad. Jurors had to calculate how much the now-defunct grocery chain Dominick's Finer Foods should pay
But he said Jordan's attorneys overvalued their client's name, saying jurors should award Jordan no more than $126,900.
Evidence presented during trial provided a peek at Jordan's extraordinary wealth, including the $480million he made from Nike alone between 2000 to 2012.
Among the witnesses was Estee Portnoy, a marketing executive hired by Jordan, who said she was shocked when she saw the Dominick's ad, which included the text, 'Michael Jordan ... You are a cut above.'
Asked after the jury's decision whether he ever tried one of the steaks Dominick's advertised, Jordan laughed and noted his own namesake steakhouse was a few blocks away.
'You can go get a steak over there,' he said.