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A Tribute to Brian Maxwell of Powerbar
By Inline Speed Skater Jonathan Seutter
FROM SKATELOG EDITOR KATHIE FRY:
Canadian marathon runner Brian Maxwell and his nutritionist
wife Jennifer created the original PowerBar in their
Berkeley kitchen in 1986 and they turned that product
into an empire before they sold it to Nestle in 2000
for a reported $375 million USD.
Mr. Maxwell collapsed
in a post office on Friday, March 19, 2004 and was immediately
transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced
dead of a heart attack. He is survived by his wife and five children.
Jonathan Seutter, a record holder for longest
distance skated in 24 hours, posted the following tribute
to Brian Maxwell on several public message boards after the
PowerBar founder died. Jonathan
gave me permission to republish his tribute at SkateLog.com
From Jonathan Seutter on March 21, 2004
"Brian Maxwell believed in me. He gave me my first sponsorship.
He was a pioneer, and not just in the first sports nutrition bar
that actually worked. He also pioneered the "photo contingency"
sponsorship that has become commonplace in sports today.
I met him in San Francisco in 1985 or 1986, at a running hill-climb
called the "California Mile". I was on my skates, and I asked him
"what is a Powerbar?" (He was wearing running singlet with a Powerbar
logo on it).
He took off his jersey and I wore it up the hill. The press truck
that was in front of the runners (it was a running event)
filmed me, and it was the first time a skater had worn the PowerBar logo...
He liked me and taught me that sponsorship was really a form of
advertising. A lesson I carried throughout my career as a professional.
He always had time to chat with me, even when Powerbar became a
multi million dollar company - even at trade shows when he was
super busy with real important people. He always remembered the
renegade skater who crashed that running even to stick the PowerBar logo
in front of the camera so long ago.
Years later I let my sponsorship lapse..
Kim and I were getting
the runaround trying to renew our sponsorship...a quick call to
Brian did the trick. He said "call back (the sponsorship department)
tomorrow - you won't have any problem". I did and we didn't.
I will miss him, as will many other athletes... he gave us a
break when nobody else would....and all that knew him will
miss him too..."
Announcement on the PowerBar Web Site
San Jose Mercury Newspaper Story
Bio of Brian Maxwell at ActiveNetwork.com
Bio of Jonathan Seutter
Bio of Jonathan's Wife Kim Ames
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