If you know hoops, you know that His Airness is just one of the catchy sobriquets widely used to describe the madly famous Michael Jordan.
If you’re not much of a sports fan, you’ve still gotten your fair dose of Jordan through his omnipresent stature as a marketing icon for companies as varied as Gatorade and Hanes.
Just how much is Jordan being paid for his product touting?
We referenced the singular world lived in by some professional athletes in a recent blog post, noting in our August 6 entry that myriad legal considerations can arise for a pro athlete that require close attention from proven business and commercial attorneys.
Michael Jordan is, well, singular among the singular, making it imperative that his business empire is closely watched and protected.
A recent court case involving a company’s unauthorized use of Jordan’s image in connection with an ad poses an interesting and centrally relevant question, namely this: How much should Jordan be paid for use of his likeness to sell a product?
The answer to that is simple, of course, when a contract price has been negotiated beforehand. What about a case, though, where a party never obtained prior approval to use a likeness?
That is at the core of the current legal dispute Jordan is involved in.
Unsurprisingly, two different theories on value are being presented to the court.
Jordan’s legal team argues that precedent should prevail. That is, Jordan should be paid the full endorsement value he is accustomed to seeing and/or an amount that other celebrities of similar stature receive when their likeness is used in a comparable manner.
An expert for Jordan says that such an amount might reasonably be in the $10 million range.
One would expect blowback on that, and, unsurprisingly, a competing argument is made that Jordan should receive a far smaller amount that is more commensurate with what he receives for the multitude of personal appearances he makes. Reportedly, a figure cited in court for that was $126,900.
There is obviously a lot of wiggle room between those two figures. We’ll pass along to readers any significant developments that occur in the case.
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