OJ Simpson Is Inking Lucrative Endorsement Deals With Hertz, Chevrolet, and Others Before the Murder Trial: How Much Did He Earn?

By Jace Dela Cruz

Apr 12, 2024 05:51 AM EDT

The death of OJ Simpson has reignited interest in his life, particularly in his NFL career, high-profile murder trial, and lucrative endorsement deals. 

O.J. Simpson
395566 02: Former NFL star O.J. Simpson walks out of a Dade County courtroom on the first day of jury selection October 9, 2001 in Miami, FL. Simpson, who was acquitted in 1994 in the murders of his ex-wife and her friend, is on trial for allegedly attacking a motorist in the Miami suburb of Kendall, Florida in December of 2000. If found guilty, Simpson could face up to 16 years in prison.
(Photo : Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

How Much Did OJ Simpson Earn From His Endorsement Deals Before the Murder Trial?

According to Forbes, before his arrest and murder trial, OJ Simpson amassed considerable wealth from his endorsement deals with major brands like Hertz and General Motors.

Simpson secured his first endorsement deal with General Motors in 1970, receiving $250,000 (equivalent to $2 million in 2024 dollars) to be featured in Chevrolet commercials. This deal was struck even before he had played his first NFL game.

Four years later, Simpson inked a deal with Hertz Corporation as part of a $12.6 million advertising campaign. According to reports, the former Buffalo Bills running back received between $100,000 and $250,000 from Hertz, which is approximately $670,000 to $1.6 million in today's money.

Fitting in with his nickname "the Juice," Simpson also became the face of TreeSweet orange juice, earning over $1 million in a five-year contract. In the years after starting in the NFL, he also signed endorsement deals with Napa Naturals sports drinks, Wilson Athletic Gear, and Schick razors. 

The Hertz campaign, portraying Simpson as the "Superstar in Rent-a-Car," was particularly successful, significantly boosting the company's net profits in 1976. In 1989, Simpson told the Los Angeles Times that he earned more money from endorsement deals than football for most of his NFL career. 

By the time the Heisman winner divorced his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, in 1992, Simpson's net worth was estimated at $10 million. His earnings came from advertising gigs, football, film, and television. A substantial portion of his income - about $550,000 - came from Hertz.

But despite the success in endorsing the rental car company, Simpson's association with Hertz came to an end after the tragic killing of Brown Simpson in 1994, with the company saying it had "no plans" to hire him for any advertisements.

Simpson was the highest-paid player in the league, with a salary of more than $800,000, at the time of his retirement in 1979.

READ NEXT: OJ Simpson, Former NFL Player and Accused of Murdering His Wife, Dead At 76 Due To Cancer

OJ Simpson Dead at 76

OJ Simpson died on Wednesday night after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 76. The former football great had been accused of killing Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman.

In a media event trial that some 150 million people watched, a criminal court jury found Simpson not guilty of murder in 1995. However, a separate civil trial jury found him liable for the deaths of the two and ordered him to pay $33.5 million to family members of Brown Simpson and Goldman in 1997. 

A decade later, the 61-year-old Simpson was imprisoned in a remote Nevada prison after a jury convicted him of armed robbery and other felonies for stealing sports memorabilia worth thousands of dollars from two dealers. He served nine years in jail before being released in 2017.

READ MORE: Indian Businessman Jumps to His Death From the 19th Floor of a Star Hotel in Bengaluru

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