First full day of testimony in Michael Jordan brand trial

CHICAGO (AP) — A civil trial looking at the market value of Michael Jordan’s identity has entered the testimony stage.

Thursday will be the first full day of testimony at the federal trial in Chicago. The main issue is whether a grocery-store chain diluted Jordan’s brand in a steak ad invoking his name without permission.

The witness list includes a long-time Jordan agent and experts on the economics of endorsements. The ex-Chicago Bulls player is also expected to testify at some point.

One of the first plaintiff’s witnesses was a marketing executive hired by Jordan. Estee Portnoy described first seeing the Dominick’s ad that included the text, “Michael Jordan…You are a cut above.”

She told jurors she was shocked, telling them the ad compared the six-time NBA champion “to a piece of steak.”