Jurors at a civil trial focused on the market value of Michael Jordan's identity handed him a major win Friday, ordering a grocery-store chain to pay him $8.9 million for invoking his name in a steak ad without his permission.
The amount was close to the $10 million his attorneys said the one-time use of his name was worth and Jordan hugged his lawyers after the decision was read in a federal court in Chicago, where Jordan won six NBA titles with the Bulls.
"I'm so used to playing on a different court," a visibly delighted Jordan told reporters outside the courthouse. "This shows I will protect my name to the fullest. ... It's my name and I worked hard for it ... and I'm not just going to let someone take it."
Jordan added that the case "was never about money" and that he'll give the damages award to charities in Chicago.
Stepping back into the courthouse, two jurors asked him for a photograph and he obliged by throwing his arms around them and smiling for a cellphone camera.