Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best and former University of Michigan Wolverine Mike Martin — a recent draftee of the Tennessee Titans — will greet customers during this weekend's grand opening of the much-anticipated Dick's Sporting Goods on north side.
Best will sign autographs from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the newly constructed store at 2105 Telegraph Road, just north of Square Lake Road in the Bloomfield Town Square. The former first-round pick, who was sidelined much of last season due to a concussion, just finished a three-day workout with the team and is looking to rebound in his third season.
The store, which had a 'soft-opening' Wednesday, will issue 250 wristbands beginning at 8 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis, and wristbands and autograph are limited to one per person. Fans must have a wristband and must be in the 'special appearance' line by noon to receive an autograph.
Martin, a standout defensive tackle in the Big 10 from Detroit, will sign autographs from 1-3 p.m. Sunday. The Tennessee Titans made him the 83rd pick in April's NFL draft and he is just weeks away from entering his first team mini-camp.
The store will issue 250 wristbands beginning at 9 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis, and wristbands and autograph are limited to one per person. Fans must have a wristband and must be in the 'special appearance' line by 1 p.m. to receive an autograph. Times and appearances by both athletes are subject to change without notice.
Throughout the weekend, customers can register for the chance to win a $100 gift card, provided by SofSole, and there will be other sweepstakes and prize giveaways. The store extended hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Star power doesn't hurt, but Michigan-based spokesman David Prout said it is Dick's focus on family activities, youth-oriented sports and quality products that will draw customers and bring them back.
"This adds to the fun and enhances the customer's experience," he said. "But Dick's Sporting Goods is for enthusiasts of all sports, and there's literally something for everyone."
The Bloomfield location is the national chain's 20th in Michigan and 490th overall.
"We look forward to opening our new Dick's Sporting Goods store in Bloomfield and becoming part of the community," said Lauren Hobart, Dick's Sporting Goods Chief Marketing Officer in a prepared statement. "We want to serve athletes of all ages in Bloomfield by providing the equipment they need to help them excel."