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Remember the title sequence to Get Smart where Maxwell Smart ventures through a series of doors and then disappears inside of a telephone booth? Well that’s what it’s like to get to Michael Jordan’s Nike contract. The 42-page document is stored in its own room at the Nike headquarters in Oregon, and only three employees have access to the agreement. But after a court ruling, it has now been made available to look at and it is ridiculous.

In 2009 Dominik’s Finer Foods—a now out-of-business grocery store within the Safeway conglomerate—used MJ’s name in a print ad (a coupon) without permission. Jordan’s legal team believe that the use of his “identity” should be determined by precedent, which they argue is valued at $10 million, the amount that Jordan usually received from previous endorsement deals.

Nike’s motion to keep MJ’s documents out of the court proceedings failed earlier this year, with Judge John Blakely agreeing to only release details that he believes are relevant to the case.

Since 2002, Nike has paid Jordan a staggering $480 million. The ex-Chicago Bulls player also earned $25 million from Sirius radio, $18 million from Gatorade, $14 million from Hanes, $14 million from Upper Deck, and $10.6 million from fragrance company XEL, which was all revealed during discussions in the courtroom on Wednesday. According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 60 per cent of former NBA players are broke within five years of retirement, but that doesn’t look like it’s happening to Jordan any time soon.

Check out the coupon that is worth $10 million in the gallery above.


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