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Popeyes’ Meme Kid Signs NIL Deal

Dieunerst Collin is one of the latest collegiate athletes to sign an NIL deal. The 2021 NCAA policy that allows athletes to receive compensation in exchange for sponsors who use their name, image, and/or likeness. Collin, a freshman offensive lineman for the Lake Erie College Storm football team, is now being sponsored by Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

It wasn’t only Collin’s stellar play that put him on Popeye’s radar for a sponsorship. Collin has been associated with the brand for a long time because, as a young boy, he was captured on a short video inside of a Popeyes restaurant that ended up as a source of bullying and ridicule.

While he was waiting for his father and brother to return from the restroom, a teenager began filming Collin, claiming he looked like a kid version of a local rapper. The video was uploaded to Vine (a defunct video sharing service), where it went viral. It was eventually turned into various GIFs and memes that people used for comedic purposes. Collin became known as the “Popeyes Meme Kid.”

Collin told CNN,

When it happened, we didn’t want to be in the spotlight. People were coming to my dad and saying, “Hey, we’ve seen your kid on this,” trying to make a joke of it. My dad didn’t like it for his kids to be joked on. But now, the fact that I switched it into a blessing, he likes it.

As a teenager Collin helped win a state championship for East Orange Campus High School in New Jersey, and was given first-team all-conference honors. At the conclusion of his freshman season at Lake Erie, Collin tweeted in affirmation from someone who suggested that Popeyes should sign the young man to an endorsement deal. A few days later, the deal was official.

Collin is now featured on a new video, on the official Popeyes Instagram account, touting his accomplishments as Collin says words of affirmation to his younger self:

This is where the story started, the moment that made us a meme. We didn’t ask for it, but don’t worry, little man, we didn’t let it stop us. We learned to lean in, we turned the attention into motivation, and the motivation into championships. From memes to dreams.

Possible Preaching Angle:

In his grace, God can use episodes of bullying or ridicule and redeem them to show your worth and his goodness.

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