Court Rules For Michael Jordan in Publicity Rights Case

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

Publicity rights are a major part of sports law and the Florida sports industry. Athlete endorsements can help sell a lot of sportswear and other goods, so these endorsements are worth a lot of money. At the same time, sports fans feel a sense of involvement in the accomplishments of their favorite athletes, and feel that these personalities belong, in a sense, to the public. The clash between these two interests can make for some difficult legal issues.

Recently, a court ruled in favor of basketball hero Michael Jordan after he sued a supermarket chain that ran an advertisement that mentioned him without his permission. The ad, which ran in a special issue of Sports Illustrated magazine, congratulated Jordan on his induction to the Hall of Fame. It did not feature a photo of the former NBA star, but mentioned him in its text and featured a picture of basketball shoes bearing his player number. It also bore the supermarket chain’s motto.

Jordan argued that the advertisement misappropriated his identity. Jordan’s endorsement on a product is worth at least $5 million, his lawyers claim.

The supermarket chain argued that its advertisement should be protected by freedom of speech because it was not commercial speech. Under the U.S. Constitution, commercial speech does not get the same level of protection that other forms of speech enjoy. However, the court ruled that the advertisement was commercial in nature because it was meant to establish consumer goodwill toward the supermarket.

There’s nothing simple about sports law. In the law of athlete endorsements, even a congratulatory advertisement like this one can quickly run into constitutional issues of free speech. It’s important for all those in Florida’s sports industry to have the assistance of attorneys with experience in this specialized are of the law.

Source: ESPN Chicago, “Jordan ruling could set precedent,” Darren Rovell, Feb. 20, 2014

The entertainment industry can be a complicated field to navigate. As a trusted leader in Miami entertainment law, ChaseLawyers can help. With over 40 years of experience, Our Miami based lawyers have helped individuals in nearly every area of entertainment law in Miami, including sports, music, film, television, modeling, literature, and more. We understand the unique challenges you face as a creative, and we’re prepared to protect your interests.

As an artist in Miami, you must navigate the intricacies of copyright law, trademarks, contractual agreements, and much more. It is critical you choose a qualified Miami entertainment lawyer with expertise in the nuances of the entertainment world. ChaseLawyers has built a stellar reputation among our clientele for honest, professional representation that produces effective results. We have extensive experience in the unique legal elements you must navigate as an artist, and our attorneys can provide you with indispensable career advice and expertise over the course of your entertainment career.

When you work with ChaseLawyers, you are more than just a client. We care about your well-being and can provide essential advice on the issues you face in the Miami market, such as intellectual property issues, negotiating service agreements, publicity rights, and much more. We also have an extensive network of resources available for our clients to connect with, and those connections can enrich your career in countless ways. Our team understands the complex world of entertainment law and will take care of your legal needs so you can focus on doing what you do best—sharing your talent with the world!

When you’re ready to take the next step in your career, our Miami entertainment lawyers are ready to help you. We are passionate about helping creatives with all of their legal needs, and you won’t find a team more dedicated to your success in all of Miami. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!