The Milwaukee Brewers today announced Ralph and Shelly Stayer, owners of Johnsonville, LLC, the country’s most popular brand of sausage, have purchased a minority stake in the MLB franchise.
As Wisconsin natives, lifelong baseball enthusiasts, and longtime sponsors of the Brewers, Ralph and Shelly are a natural fit to join the organization’s ownership team, according to Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio.
“The Stayers’ relationship with the Milwaukee Brewers spans many years,” said Attanasio. “Whether it’s cheering on the Brew Crew as season ticket holders, sponsoring the team and its legendary Racing Sausages, offering their excellent Johnsonville sausage products to fans at American Family Field, or joining our efforts to give back to community causes, Ralph and Shelly are integrated into nearly every part of the Brewers family. We’re thrilled to welcome them to our ownership team, as well.”
“Baseball has been part of my life since I was a little girl,” said Shelly Stayer, Owner and Board Chair of Johnsonville. “In fact, I grew up near Eden, Wisconsin, and Brewers Legend Jim Gantner’s sisters were my teammates playing baseball!”
Ralph Stayer, now 80, was born in Milwaukee. During the Great Depression, his father worked at Plankinton Packing but had dreams of owning his own business. When a small butcher shop went up for sale 50 minutes north, in the small village of Johnsonville, Ralph’s parents seized the opportunity. Together, Ralph and Shelly Stayer have grown that business from a small butcher shop, into a global business.
“I can confirm that anything really is possible, including being a part of my hometown baseball team!” said Ralph Stayer, Owner of Johnsonville. “Joining the Brewers’ ownership team is truly part of my ultimate American dream. Shelly and I are honored to be joining the Club.”
Shelly, who now heads Johnsonville, negotiated the deal between the couple and Attanasio. “It was the friendliest, most exciting transaction in which I’ve ever been involved,” she said.
With the Stayers’ longtime support of and love for the Brewers, and the natural tie between baseball and one of the best tailgate foods around, the Brewers are proud to officially welcome Ralph and Shelly to the Brewers ownership family.