Suguru Osako’s New Challenge with the GMO Internet Group
Professional runner Suguru Osako (Nike contract athlete, CEO of I Inc.), has signed a partnership contract with the GMO Internet Group to compete during the New Year’s Ekiden. 

Suguru will carry out the following two roles (initially for a year starting on October 4, 2022):
1. Participate in the New Year’s Ekiden as a runner.
2. Assume the position of running director of the team.

There are two reasons Suguru has decided to run the Ekiden even though he is a professional runner. First, he believes that ekiden races support a large pool of track and field athletes in Japan, and aims to further energize the sport in the country by getting himself involved. Secondly, he wants to lead by example that professional runners have the freedom to participate in corporate competitions. He also hopes that track and field athletes will ultimately be able to have more freedom in their career paths like in other categories of sports.

Suguru also takes up the position of running director. He has been supporting the next generation of athletes by leading by example through efforts such as Sugar Elite. This time he takes the same stance toward professional athletes. He will not only help to improve their physical performance, but also intends to share his life philosophy and inspire new ways of thinking.

Suguru has decided to join the team after previously pursuing his solitary quest. There is a saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Of course he will focus on improving the speed of the individual runners, but he knows better than anyone else that the power of a team is important to achieve a bigger, more distant goal. He has no doubt that improving individual performance and elevating running to a whole new level as a team, will serve as a driving force for the sport of track and field in Japan.


Creative  Director Kohei Adachi (MARCH INC)
Director Genki Ito
Director of Photography Takashi Hirukawa
Music Hiroki Goto
Photography Shota Matsumoto