by Courtside Post Staff Writer
Bringing a tough offense to protect his brand, Michael Jordan is suing Chicago’s two big grocery chains — Jewel and Dominick’s — for allegedly using his name and his number 23 to sell steaks and other goods without his permission.
The multimillion-dollar lawsuits, filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, stem from Jewel and Dominick’s congratulatory ads appearing in this year’s commemorative edition of Sports Illustrated magazine, honoring Jordan’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Jewel ad includes a pair of basketball shoes, with a number 23 on the tongues and the phrase “Jewel-Osco salutes #23 on his many accomplishments as we honor a fellow Chicagoan who was ‘just around the corner’ for so many years.” The suit claims the shoes are a “misleading copy of Air Jordan Basketball shoes” that are part of an endorsement agreement between Jordan and Nike.
According to the separate suits, filed against each chain, neither company “received Jordan’s permission to use his identity or to imply his endorsement in connection with the goods and services offered.”
Jordan is seeking at least $5 million from each of the grocery giants in this false endorsement and deceptive business practices suit.
When asked to comment, a spokesperson for Jewel and Dominick’s were not available for comment.