They don't buy celeb axes for the status, they do it for joint ventures like this.
17k x 250 = more than they spent on the axe.
Odds are Fender's getting a good cut, and it serves as a good PR tool for the Custom Shop. But even at 5k an axe from Fender it's still pure profit.
If GC gets ahold of it, they'll find a way to clone it. They did it with the Clapton 335 and Blackie, they're doing it with Lenny, and the next celeb auction that comes up they'll likely snag something and do another.