Sweetwater Sound, Inc., Fort Wayne, IN

When it came time for Sweetwater to install a new electronic messaging center, Mike Ross, Senior vice president for marketing, saw the opportunity to build a display that would be an extension of the Sweetwater philosophy. “Does it establish Sweetwater in the community as a gateway into Fort Wayne?” Ross asked. Ross and Sweetwater’s Founder and President, Chuck Surack, saw this as an opportunity to not just build a sign, but an important landmark for the Fort Wayne community.

Sweetwater Sound, Inc. is one of the United States' largest dealers in musical instruments and equipment. With a massive operation that includes online sales, specialized customer service and retail operations they are a flagship entity in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Their dedicated and passionate staff supports customers both pre- and post-sale, and they are a proud community citizen. Sweetwater believes in doing things big and doing them right.

When it came time for Sweetwater to install a new electronic messaging center, Mike Ross, Senior vice president for marketing, saw the opportunity to build a display that would be an extension of the Sweetwater philosophy. “Does it establish Sweetwater in the community – as a gateway into Fort Wayne?” Ross asked. Ross and Sweetwater’s Founder and President, Chuck Surack, saw this as an opportunity to not just build a sign, but an important landmark for the Fort Wayne community.

The Sweetwater project required extensive planning, with 20 to 30 different designs reviewed. With the help of architectural firm MSKTD and Associates, Inc., Sweetwater settled on a massive 27’ by 35’ structure that would support two 12 mm color LED displays. With their location at a prominent place on U.S. 30 near a stop-light intersection, the high resolution display was a perfect match for the kind of stop-and-go traffic in the area. The design utilized a nine degree angle that was intrinsic to the architecture of Sweetwater’s new 44-acre campus, and met their need to provide an electronic messaging center that would become an iconic gateway to the city of Fort Wayne.  

Sweetwater’s sign dealer partner Scott Gray, from Graycraft Signs, knew Watchfire was the right sign for the job from the start. “I recommend Watchfire first to all of my customers due to service and reliability,” Gray says, “It gives me real peace of mind knowing that when I put this product out to the customer that they’re going to be happy with it.”

After Gray, Ross and Surack toured the Watchfire facility in Danville, Illinois, together their choice became clear, and Sweetwater is happy with the results. “We needed to have a sign that we were confident in, that we wouldn’t worry about in the weather. We were convinced after watching the manufacturing and construction process that a Watchfire sign met every one of our criteria and then some.” said Ross.

“We’re a relationship based company. There are a lot of other companies that provide large signage,” say Ross. “Do they deal with real relationships and want to do a great job? I would tell you the only company I feel that way about is Watchfire, and so that’s who we chose.”

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