13 Apr Chinese company sues Michael Jordan; Nike breaks ground in Memphis
April 10–About a year ago, basketball great Michael Jordan sued a Chinese company, saying it is improperly using the Chinese version of his name.
Jordan contended Qiaodan Sports Co., which sells apparel and shoes, had profited by illegally using his name on its marketing materials and products. Jordan has been known in China by the Chinese name “Qiaodan” since he became a global basketball star in the 1980s. Qiaodan’s products carry a silhouette of a leaping basketball player, which bears a resemblance to the “Jumpman” logo used by Nike’s Jordan Brand.
The Wall Street Journal reported in February last year:
“I feel the need to protect my name, my identity, and the Chinese consumers,” Mr. Jordan said in a video on a website devoted to his claims. “It’s about principle–protecting my identity and my name,” he said. Any damage award would be invested in promoting basketball in China, he said.
Jordan said at the time that any damage award would be invested in promoting basketball in China. A Shanghai court accepted Jordan’s case last year, but has yet to announce a decision.
The case took a different turn Wednesday as Qiaodan Sports Co. has countersued Jordan for $8 million for hurting its reputation, the Journal reported. Jordan misled the public and its customers with his lawsuit, says this story in the Bangkok Post.
New Nike building: Nike broke ground on Tuesday on a massive distribution facility north of Memphis, says this story at knoxvillebiz.com. Hans van Alebeek, Nike vice president of global operations, commandeered an earth mover for the occasion. If you want to read the authoritative account about the $276 million facility by Thomas Bailey Jr. of The Commercial Appeal, you’ll need to become a commercialappeal.com subscriber, joining a trend in the newspaper business. Either account, though, includes a photo of van Alebeek at the earth mover controls.