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Michael Jordan sues Chinese apparel company

Feb 22, 2012, 10:30 PM EDT

Michael Jordan AP

It’s been 14 years since Michael Jordan stepped on an NBA court (Washington? I choose not to remember that stop) and he is still the most valuable brand in basketball worldwide. By miles and miles and miles.

Which is why NBA legend and current Bobcats owner Jordan — along with — Nike has a team of lawyers that protect that brand. And they have turned their guns on a Chinese firm, Qiaodan, and sued the company that manufactures sports apparel and shoes.

You don’t know that name but that is the nickname Jordan has gone by in China since he first came to popularity nearly three decades ago. This is a clear attempt to profit off his name.

In a statement released through his spokeswoman, Jordan says he’s worked hard to establish his name and calls the issue “deeply disappointing to see a company build a business off my Chinese name without my permission, use the number 23 and even attempt to use the names of my children.”

Jordan says he’s “This complaint is not about money, it’s about principle and protecting my name.”

It’s about money.

It is about protecting his name — which when put on Nike shoes and apparel is worth a whole lot of money. Particularly in the emerging massive market that is China. (Most all of which is made in China anyway.)

This follows from the “any time someone says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money” principle. That doesn’t mean Jordan and his army of lawyers is wrong here. Enforcing it in China may not be so simple, however.

  1. mlblogsbig3bosox - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Let the Chinese lawsuits wars begin!

  2. glink123 - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Good luck. Piracy in China is nearly a third of their GDP. Their government fiercely supports it.

    • franbotel - Feb 23, 2012 at 1:45 AM

      Thats crazy i wouldn’t be surprised if 90% of those products are from US companies.

    • southbeachtalent - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      glink, 100 percent spot on.

      They make arrests at times when things get to heated (scape goats), but for the most part they are all in on piracy.

  3. africanballer - Feb 23, 2012 at 2:26 AM


  4. spytdi - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    “Nike pulls out of China!” Laughable, I know but would love to see them made in the US.

  5. spytdi - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    This could create a “chink in the armor” of a large company like Nike although I believe it will be more of a black guy…I mean black eye on the Chinese market.

  6. rob0527 - Feb 23, 2012 at 5:18 AM

    When they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.

  7. james2111 - Feb 23, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    Jordan should be suing the bum responsible for putting that Bobcats roster together. oh.. wait a minute..Never mind.

  8. caeser12 - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Is this the same Michael Jordan that said he was going to go to China to make sure that they weren’t using child laborers to make his shoes? No? Then who the hell is this guy, and why does he have a apparel company in China?

  9. connaniii - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    I believe Mike shouldn´t be as worried about them them making a proffit off his name as much as he should be about the quality of the sneakers. I recently bought a pair of Air Jordans, Made in China and the outer soles practically peeled off the shoes after 3 weeks of non continuous play!

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