Earlier this year, the four members of student group Team Defyent were named the winners of the first ever Dean Guitars Design a Guitar product development challenge. The custom guitar they conceptualized, designed, and pitched to Dean executives during the competition will be designed and manufactured by the company sometime next year. Another part of their prize was a behind-the-scenes tour of the company’s Tampa, Florida, headquarters, which the group cashed in on last week.
The team – made of up of students Jim Engel (Entertainment Business Master’s), Kevin Gray (Entertainment Business Master’s), Jody Gross (Entertainment Business Master’s), and Thomas “Guy” Petrie (Recording Arts) – along with faculty and staff members from Entertainment Business and Career Development, toured Dean’s 110,000 square-foot facility last Wednesday. Curse Mackey, Dean’s Director of Marketing (and one of the judges of the challenge), showed the group around the complex, including the warehouse, where all guitars made overseas are tuned and tested for quality and the Dean USA Custom Shop, where guitars are constructed from start (woodworking) to finish (painting and electronics).
Dean’s facilities are not normally open to the public, so the students were able to see some materials and processes that not many get to see. When the model of the group’s winning design is built, Dean hopes to have the team back to take part in the process. The company also hopes to have a similar Design a Guitar challenge here on Full Sail’s campus again in the future.