MILWAUKEE — Johnsonville is the official sausage of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Brewers announced Wednesday, Jan. 24. This, after we learned the Brewers severed ties with Klement’s after the two were teamed up for more than 25 years.
“Great food is one of the most memorable parts of the baseball-fan experience, which is why we’re thrilled to bring Johnsonville back to the Brewers,” said Ryan Pociask, VP of marketing at Johnsonville in the release.
Klement’s issued this statement in response:
“As Major League Baseball becomes more and more about making money and maximizing profits, it’s not surprising that the Brewers chose to go with a national brand over the hometown company. While we valued our 25-year partnership with the Brewers, we’re proud to still be the hometown sausage company with a focus on quality over quantity. We will continue to literally hit it out of the park for our loyal customers.
Klement’s is able to deepen our ties with Milwaukee in new ways by entering into more community partnerships, which we are excited to announce soon. In the meantime, Brewers fans know they can still enjoy our sausages anywhere a grill can be found.”
The Klement’s announcement was made via a letter sent from Klement’s CEO and President Thomas Danneker to the company’s employees. That means no more Klement’s products at Miller Park, and a new sponsor for the Famous Racing Sausages. We’ve now learned that sponsor will be Johnsonville.
Danneker said in part:
“This spring we entered into our regular contract negotiations with the Brewers — just as we have done many times over the past 25+ years. We intended to extend and continue our partnership with the Brewers — and more importantly the Brewers family of fans.
Unfortunately, the Brewers abruptly and without explanation cut off our negotiations. To our surprise, weeks later the Brewers informed us that they signed with another undisclosed company and we would not have the opportunity to match the deal or negotiate.”
Given our history and commitment to the Brewers this was a surprising and disappointing development.”
Danneker went on to say the end of the partnership with the Brewers is “an opportunity” for the company. He indicated Klement’s has already begun talking with other community partners to support.
According to the frequently asked questions section of the Klement’s website, the Famous Racing Sausages are owned by Major League Baseball. Klement’s has never been an authorized dealer and able to sell any merchandise or items with the images of the racers.
“Ultimately, it’s the Brewers’ property and the Brewers are in the business of raising revenue so they can pay players,” Brian Bennett, STIR Marketing CEO said.
Bennett said while this might hurt, it won’t break Klement’s.
“I believe they’re going to go invest their money in another sponsorship somewhere else,” Bennett said.
On Tuesday evening, the Milwaukee Brewers issued a news release with this statement:
“With the heat being turned up today as rumors simmer on the Brewers sausage category sponsorship, there has been speculation about the future of Milwaukee’s most legendary runners.
The Famous Racing Sausages are a “link” to the Brewers past and present. Rest assured, they are also central to the future of the franchise.
Stay tuned – more details to come soon.”
Some Brewers’ fans said they’re sad to see the change, but they remain unwavering in their support for the team.
“It’s going to be hard to get used to, but I’m still going to root for the Brewers for sure,” Sarah Riegleman said.