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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...
"
~ Jonathan Seutter



Related Links
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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