‘Memes to desires’: viral Popeyes boy finally reaps reward of online fame | New Jersey

A decade has handed, however ultimately the star of the web meme displaying a boy glancing sideways in confusion with a cup in his hand whereas standing in line at a Popeyes is capitalizing on his viral fame.

Dieunerst Collin, an 18-year-old participant for the soccer workforce at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, can finally money in on his online fame thanks to a change in coverage from a company which governs collegiate sports activities within the US that in 2021 enabled pupil athletes to earn cash from sponsorship alternatives.

“The second that made us a meme – we did not ask for it,” Collin mentioned in a social media video that Popeyes posted final week asserting that the fast-food chain had signed him to a deal that might characteristic him on billboards and different ads. “But don’t be concerned little man, we did not let it cease us.”

Collin grew to become web well-known when he was 9 and went to Popeyes to decide up a household pack of hen, biscuits and fries in Irvington, New Jersey. A stranger who believed Collin resembled a boy who was recognized on social media on the time for his dance strikes pulled out his telephone and began recording him whereas he stood in line holding a cup of lemonade.

Baffled as to why the stranger was recording him, Collin shot over a sideways look. The stranger then revealed the clip on Vine, the defunct video-sharing software. It went viral and has been used numerous instances on social media, usually paired with captions declaring discomfort or obfuscation.

Collin’s household initially resented the viral picture. They tried to get it scrubbed from the web, and he was irritated that folks would name him by the title of the dancing boy whom the stranger thought Collin seemed like.

“I simply by no means thought it could get that huge,” Collin mentioned, in accordance to a CNN report revealed on Friday.

The Popeyes Meme Kid – Dieunerst Collin — Has Been Signed To An NIL Deal With The Company https://t.co/DdxHhuVPNP pic.twitter.com/Bqnqxh9oLn

— WBMN Groovin' 24/7 (@RadioBlackOn) January 19, 2023


Yet Collin finally embraced the meme’s enduring reputation. When he helped his highschool win a New Jersey state championship in soccer in 2021, he posed with the trophy and a side-eyed expression that harkened again to his historical past as a meme star, native information outlet NJ.com reported.

“From Popeyes to state champion!” a Twitter person wrote in a put up containing an image of Collin’s meme and of him holding the trophy he gained together with his college.

Collin as soon as once more went viral thanks to that tweet, which was shared broadly. Only this time, he ended up with an endorsement deal.

On January 8, after enrolling at Lake Erie to play soccer and research communications, Collin used his Instagram account and a screenshot of the viral state champion tweet to write a message to Popeyes.

“I simply wanna speak enterprise,” Collin wrote, his attraction to Popeyes being boosted by different outstanding social media customers.

By 12 January, Popeyes signed Collins to one of the so-called title, picture and likeness (NIL) offers that the NCAA legalized lower than two years in the past.

“From memes to desires, Dieunerst and Popeyes will grace social media feeds as soon as once more,” mentioned a press release from Popeyes concerning the endorsement deal.

Collin has declined to talk about the phrases of his cope with Popeyes.

But Popeyes has now put up a billboard with footage of him then – in line all these years in the past – and now in his dwelling city of East Orange, New Jersey. The chain has urged followers to “maintain a watch out for different enjoyable [Collin] content material”.

Collin advised CNN he’s – if nothing else – proof of one truism: “Lots can occur with the facility of the web behind you.”

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