Michael Jordan made good Tuesday on his promise to donate the net proceeds of the multimillion dollar settlement he received from supermarkets Dominick’s and Jewel-Osco to nonprofits helping Chicago kids, his advisers said.
The basketball legend had vowed to donate the cash this summer after winning an $8.9 million jury verdict against Dominick’s for the unauthorized use of his name in an advertisement. He last month settled the case — and a related, pending case against Jewel-Osco, which is also owned by Dominick’s owner Cerberus Capital — for an undisclosed sum.
Jordan’s spokeswoman Estee Portnoy on Tuesday declined to state how large the donations, made to 23 charities including After School Matters, Casa Central and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, were, citing the confidential terms of the settlement with Dominick’s and Jewel-Osco.
But even after Jordan had paid the attorneys who waged a six-year court battle after both supermarkets used Jordan’s name without permission in a 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated that commemorated Jordan’s elevation to the basketball Hall of Fame, there were still millions of dollars left over to donate on Tuesday, sources said.
“I care deeply about the city of Chicago and have such incredible memories from my years there,” Jordan said in a news release. “The 23 charities I’ve chosen to make donations to all support the health, education and well-being of the kids of Chicago. Chicago has given me so much and I want to give back to its kids — the city’s future.”
Jordan said at the time of his federal court victory in August that the case was “never about the money” and that he only brought it to protect the value of his name and image. He took the stand twice during a weeklong trial that revealed details of how he and his advisers carefully ration the use of his identity to maximize his earnings, which remain higher than any basketball player more than a decade after his retirement.
Portnoy said Tuesday that Jordan’s staff had “a fun week” calling the recipients of Jordan’s donations, which also included Chicago Scholars, Chicago Youth Programs, Children’s Literacy Initiative, Christopher House, Common Threads, Erikson Institute, Gary Comer Youth Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund — Illinois, KEEN Chicago, La Casa Norte, La Rabida Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Illinois, New Moms, New Teacher Center, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, Project Exploration, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Sinai Health System, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois and Tutoring Chicago.