It's no secret that celebrity endorsements are big business, particularly when an athlete is showcasing the latest and greatest sporting equipment. But when an athlete does something to destroy their career and in many cases their life, companies are quick to ditch a big name to avoid being dragged through the mud with them.

O.J. Simpson may regain his freedom as he received approval for parole from his 9 to 33-year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping, but he'll never see the serious paychecks he once cashed from major sponsors. 

Simpson, Aaron Hernandez, Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius collectively lost millions on lost endorsements when they became headlines rather than headliners. CytoSport, Nike (NKE) ,  Anhueser-Busch (BUD) , Hertz (HTZ)  and Oakley are just a few of the companies to leave their star athletes behind. 

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Editor's Pick: This article was originally published on May 30, 2016. 

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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