After Summerfest operator Milwaukee World Festival Inc. filed a lawsuit against Milwaukee-based Klement’s Sausage Company Inc.earlier this week, claiming Klement’s had breached a sponsorship agreement, Klement’s has responded by saying it has not violated the agreement.
"Klement’s has been making moments better for Wisconsinites for over 60 years. Klement’s is proud that its partnership with Summerfest is part of that legacy, but the nature of the relationship has changed since the contract was initially negotiated in 2018, and Klement’s determined it was best to fulfill current financial obligations and negotiate the future together," said Klement’s in a statement. "Unfortunately, Summerfest chose to go public with those negotiations, even though Klement’s is not in breach of the existing agreement, with the goal to create public pressure againstKlement’s and damage its reputation. While Klement’s remains hopeful that Summerfest will dismiss their lawsuit, the company is prepared to pursue all legal remedies to correct the record and protect its reputation."
MWF declined to comment on the lawsuit or Klement’s response.
According to the lawsuit filed Monday, Klement’s entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement with MWF for a stage at the Summerfest grounds on April 2, 2018. The agreement runs through 2027.
The total dollar amount for all the annual sponsorship fees owed by Klement’s, not including 2020 when Summerfest was canceled due to the pandemic, is $1.3 million.
The complaint states Klement’s failed to pay the 2022 sponsorship fee, which is a total of $140,473. The total amount of sponsorship fees still owed to MWF through 2027 is $1,025,000. MWF is seeking to recover the remaining sponsorship fees owed, as well as $885,000 to remodel the Klement’s Sausage and Beer Garden stage at the festival grounds.
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