Michael Jordan was recently awarded almost nine million in damages after a supermarket used his name and likeness without his permission.  Jordan sued Dominick’s Grocery store after it ran an advertisement promoting a $2 off coupon for steak.  The advertisement read “Congratulations Michael Jordan, you are a cut above.”  Jordan’s jersey number 23 was also displayed.

Jordan sued alleging that Dominick’s did not have his consent to use his name or his jersey number in connection with their advertisement and coupon.  He asserted that he did not endorse the use of his name in connection with the promotion.  The court agreed and awarded him 8.9 million dollars.

What’s the take away here?  Protect your brand.  Michael Jordan worked hard to become an uber famous basketball player and personality.  Except for newsworthy items, Michael Jordan has every right to ensure that his name, jersey number and likeness are only used in a manner that he controls.  Regardless of how complimentary a promotion may be, you cannot use another’s name, likeness or their affiliation (in this case, Michael’s jersey number) to promote your business.

Protecting your brand and other innovative developments is critical to any organization.  Having the right person to help you make that decision is important.  The Law Office of Kathleen Lynch PLLC is designed to help businesses such as yours keep ahead of the game.   The first telephone consultation is free.  Email us at