"We were shocked...they clearly caught us by surprise."
Those words from Klement's CEO Tom Danneker describe how, for the first time in a quarter century, the Milwaukee Brewers' racing sausages won't have their longtime sponsor.
Klement's Sausage and the Brewers have backed out of their longtime partnership with the fan favorite activity.
"They clearly caught us by surprise," he told WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News."
"We've been in negotiations with the Brewers to continue the relationship since really last spring," he added.
"The Brewers came into our office last week and let us know that they signed a deal with a new sponsor and Klement's us out."
As he described to WTMJ's John Mercure and Melissa Barclay, the team made that statement clear and said "there was nothing more to talk about."
"When they came in, we were thinking they were going to sign a deal. It ended up being a very, very short meeting."
According to Dannaker, the longtime local sausage brand will continue to support the city and its major events.
"We love the Brewers. We would have been a sponsor of them for another 25 years. We obviously wish them well. Whoever the new sponsor is, we wish them well as well," he said.
"Klement's is going to continue to be in the parking lot on those grills whether we sponsor them or not."
WTMJ has asked the Brewers for comment. All reports indicate that the race will continue.