Chicago Bulls fans may not know it, but the buck they spend on a Michael Jordan T-shirt may end up in Magic Johnson's pocket. One of today's hot sports T-shirts features an action shot of Jordan, the Bulls star and league most valuable player.
The maker of the shirt? Magic Johnson T's.
"Michael Jordan _ he sells," Jay Jacoby, vice president of marketing for the Gardena, Calif.-based Magic Johnson T's, said Wednesday. "People like him."
In the NBA championship series between the Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Michael vs. Magic is the matchup of the moment.
But in this round, Magic, through his company, makes money on Michael.
The white T-shirts feature Jordan going to the hoop. Above him are the fluorescent blue and orange letters "MVP." Below him _ in smaller, black print: Magic Johnson T's.
The T-shirts were not being sold at a downtown sporting goods store, but Bulls fans browsing for memorabilia didn't seem to mind the idea of the product.
"Magic's a class guy," said Syd Katz, 48, who wore a Bulls hat and sweatshirt.
"He's done a lot for basketball," said Katz, a Bulls season ticket holder who confesses to having spent at least $100 on Bulls paraphernalia over the past month. "He's a role model for kids."
Donald Stovall, who owns Bulls "hats, jackets, socks, shorts and shirts," agreed.
"I'd still buy it," Stovall said. "Everybody's gotta make some money some kind of way."
Jordan said he doesn't mind either.
"This whole ordeal is a business," Jordan told a local television station Tuesday when asked about it.
Jacoby said his company has sold about 35,000 of the Jordan T-shirts since Jordan was named most valuable player, and Johnson gets a small percentage on each sale.
"Whatever shirts we do, he indirectly makes money," Jacoby said.
But he said that Magic "can do a half-minute commercial and make more in a day then he'll make all year on our T-shirts."