June 14, 2013 BY ehloknows / 0
Michael Jordan did unprecedented things on the hardwood over his NBA career, and Jordan Brand and the original Air Jordan collection mirrored that success, setting the standard for the way companies worldwide approach a signature athlete’s footwear line. But with that success comes image and the immense responsibility of protecting such. Michael Jordan recently made headlines by filing a Lawsuit against Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese apparel company that profited $450 million last year that he claims has done so by misrepresented his name and brand. Even more recently, Jordan has ordered a $5 million lawsuit against Dominick’s food stores for an ad they took out in a 2009 commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated honoring his Hall of Fame induction. Federal judge Milton Shadur ordered the icon into court claiming the lawsuit is “greedy” yet Jordan refused to come to terms with a settlement. For more information head to the jump and share your thoughts on whether Jordan is being overprotective of his image or if he’s fully in his rights.
The ad read: “Congratulations, Michael Jordan. You are a cut above.” Below the phrase was a $2-off coupon for a Rancher’s Reserve steak from Dominick’s.
“I thought the demand was greedy,” Shadur said of the $5 million lawsuit while also asking Jordan’s attorney Frederick Sperling, “Are you allergic to the notion that he somehow ought to participate in a lawsuit that he brought?” Sperling has attempted to keep the current Charlotte Bobcats owner out of the courtroom as much as possible.
Shadur has said Dominick’s is liable for their advertisement saying it was “ultimately stupid and really totally without common sense,” but the judge also believes that Jordan has taken advantage of the situation by trying to send a message that is larger than the grocery chain deserves by making “a legal mountain out of a legal molehill.”
So on one hand you have a reasonable lawsuit for using an image without permission in order to sell an unrelated product, but one can’t help but question if Judge Shadur is aware of the sneaker industry and the common occurrence of fakes and “variants” infiltrating stock listings and leaving money that an athlete like Michael Jordan has spent a career working hard for. He has a resounding legacy and the need to continue to protect it as his brand and profits see incremental growth in all markets. Whether this warrants the type of lawsuit Jordan has brought on a local food chain in a community that he won 6 championships for is still up for discussion.
Source: Chicago Tribune.
Filed under: Air Jordans