CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - He made millions on the court playing basketball. Now, Michael Jordan is hoping to win millions more in a court of law.
The former Chicago Bulls superstar appeared in federal court at the Dirksen Federal Building on Tuesday, hoping to convince a jury that Dominick’s grocery store – which has since gone out of business – owes him at least 10 million dollars for using his picture in an ad without paying him.
A federal judge has already ruled that the Dominick’s grocery store chain had no legal right to use Jordan’s picture in a 2009 ad, which included a $2 dollar coupon for steaks with the text, “You are a cut above.”
Now, jurors must figure out how much Dominick’s must pay Jordan for the ad.
Dominick’s attorneys will argue it's only a few bucks. After all, only two shoppers redeemed the coupon.
But Kent College Law Dean Harold Krent said Jordan’s lawyers will argue the ad is worth millions.
"How much would Michael Jordan have sold the opportunity in an open market? And he'll try to gauge the market by talking about other endorsement deals he's done," said Krent.
During jury selection on Tuesday, lawyers for Dominick’s asked whether any of the potential jurors saw Jordan play basketball. Thirteen of the 14 raised their hands.
Then, he asked whether anyone considered Jordan an idol or personal hero.
But nobody raised their hand.
"It cuts both ways. Because on one hand people say 'Oh my God, it's a celebrity. We have a chance to touch a celebrity and help him out.' On the other hand it's like 'Why does Michael Jordan need more money against a defendant that's bankrupt?'" Krent said.
The trial is expected to get underway with opening statements taking place Wednesday morning at 11 a.m.
The trial could continue through the remainder of the week. Jordan is also expected to testify during the trial, perhaps as soon as Wednesday.
It’s been 15 years since Jordan last played professional basketball. Yet, he remains one of the most popular and highly paid commercial pitchmen in all of sports.