By Matt McCue

If there's no such thing as easy money, the closest thing has to be free-flowing cash from celebrity endorsements. All notables seem to have to do is lend their pearly whites to products, attend media events, and tell the masses they, "Better eat their Wheaties." Yet many top athletes have done a spectacular job of blowing multimillion-dollar deals.

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Slideshow: 15 athlete food endorsement fails

The sins are usually not poor performances, but off-the-field scandals in their many forms: Criminal activity, drug abuse, and the big one that (at least temporarily) has bit Kobe and Tiger -- fraternizing with women who were not their wife.

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Standards about what's acceptable vary from company to company. It was a no-brainer for family-friendly Kellogg's to drop Michael Phelps as pitchman when he was caught smoking pot. But Subway stayed with him, and built a munchies-themed campaign around him and $5 foot-longs. OK, the last part is a lie, but you get the idea. Some things are forgivable. Here are 15 athlete endorsements that didn't work.

15 Athlete Food Endorsement Fails Slideshow


Tiger Woods, Gatorade

Jaws dropped when the world's most bankable (married) athlete announced he had been unfaithful to his wife. In turn, Gatorade promptly dropped him in 2010.


Bode Miller, Barilla

The skier unabashedly partied his way through the 2006 Olympics in Turin. Pasta maker Barilla wasn't pleased and declined to renew his deal later that summer.


Jason Giambi, Pepsi

The 2000 American League MVP fell from marketing grace in 2004, after he confessed to using steroids. Pepsi decided to take its marketing dollars elsewhere and didn't renew his sponsorship.


Michael Phelps, Kellogg's

To no one's surprise, the cereal maker didn't feel that the record-setting gold medalist's pot-smoking evening fit with its wholesome image.


Michael Vick, Coca-Cola and Kraft

The Eagles quarterback landed in the doghouse with Kraft and Coca-Cola after he plead guilty to federal dogfighting charges in 2007.


David Beckham, Pepsi

In a surprise move in 2008, Mr. Posh Spice declined to renew his 10-year, $30 million contract. Perhaps he got tired of dressing up like a gladiator, cowboy and surfer?


Ben Roethlisberger, Big Ben's Beef Jerky

Ben Roethlisberger's sexual assault allegations in 2010 left the owners of the company that produced Big Ben's Beef Jerky no choice but to end the relationship.


Lawrence Taylor, Nutrisystem

The retired Giant lost 35 pounds while pitching the weight loss product. After rape allegations in 2010, however, Taylor lost his endorsement deal for Nutrisystem, too.

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