Michael Jordan is currently involved in a lawsuit against defunct supermarket chain Dominick’s for using his likeness without his permission. Throughout the course of the trial, we are getting to hear some very interesting anecdotes about the business side of MJ and how he runs his company.
Jordan’s adviser Estee Portnoy was called to testify in the case last week, and she revealed that Jordan “didn’t do anything” when he made a whopping $10.6 million from fragrance manufacturer XEL, who marked a cologne using his name, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Portnoy also testified that Jordan’s business associates are ruthless, and not hesitant to take advantage of less knowledgeable business people. For example, Portnoy said she accepted a $100,000 licensing fee from a Japanese TV station making a documentary about MJ because they “didn’t know they didn’t have to pay for it.”
Jordan has made his fair share of enemies since retiring from the game, but his business sense can’t really be argued with. As Portnoy revealed, Jordan won’t even bother talking with you, unless you’re willing to give him $10 million, as the Chicago Tribune reports:
Jordan protects his brand’s value by selling his image rights and endorsements as a “bundled” package — not for a single use — and he won’t do business with anyone unless the deal will ultimately be worth at least $10 million, Portnoy said. She added that he only deals with businesses that are “authentic” to him and “add value to his brand.”
Say what you will about the business practices of his people, but Jordan Brand expertly leverages one of the most iconic likenesses in the world, and if MJ can actually get people to pay him that much for his participation in something, why would he bother with a place like Dominick’s, who won’t be able to pay him what he’s worth?
Dominick’s, however, claims that Jordan has indeed accepted many deals less than the $10 million benchmark (including a $500,000 deal with Sirius Satellite Radio), and that the $10 million “vastly overstates the market value of their ad.”
The trial is expected to last into this week, and Jordan is expected to testify.
(Via the Chicago Tribune)