Unveiling the Handsome Acrobats in UNIQLO’s Too Cool Web Commercial | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Unveiling the Handsome Acrobats in UNIQLO’s Too Cool Web Commercial

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Suit-wearing “Cheerleaders” Become the Talk of the Town

In UNIQLO’s inspiring pants and jacket web commercial, salarymen in suits are captivating audiences with their refreshing and powerful cheerleading performance. Their true identity is “Cheer Re-Man’s,” composed of alumni from Waseda University’s male cheerleading team, “SHOCKERS.”

Cheer Re-Man’s” by alumni of the Waseda University men’s cheerleading team SHOCKERS

A love call for a “self-made commercial” was received by UNIQLO.

The Cheerleaders is a cheerleading team for working people, founded in June 2023 by three alumni of Waseda University’s men’s cheerleading team, the Shockers. All members are active businessmen working for trading companies, consulting firms, and IT firms.

Core members Yusuke Akai (right) and Kambara Kohki (left)

Yusuke Akai: “Actually, we had been talking about creating a cheer team for businessmen since I retired from the circle, but I lost sight of the timing of the start when I joined COVID-19 crisis. Then, last March, we were allowed to participate in a cheer competition as an alumni team, and thankfully, we won the competition, and with that momentum, we started the team.”

Immediately after the team was established, there were less than 20 members, but the number has gradually increased to about 30 today. The players are made up of newly graduated working adults ranging in age from 22 to 30, but behind the scenes there are also alumni members and three managers who support the team’s operations.

Kambara Kang (hereafter Kambara): “Last August, at the ‘Uenode. The social networking strategy of Instagram and TikTok was also slowly taking effect, and in January of this year, I was recognized for my appearance in Lavit! In January of this year, our name recognition rose dramatically, and the number of messages of support and requests to appear on the show doubled.”


Akai: “After appearing in Lavit! I was especially surprised to receive over 400 DMs on Instagram after appearing in the show.”

Furthermore, the members’ self-made commercial for their favorite UNIQLO inspiring pants and jackets, which they uploaded to TikTok at the end of last year, was received by UNIQLO, and a web commercial in collaboration with Hiroyuki Iguchi of Westland was realized starting February 26.

About 20 people gathered on that day. They practiced for about 4 hours.

Becoming Japan’s leading adult performance team

In 2020, the year Corona began, they joined the workforce as new graduates and were placed in a special environment that had never existed before. They were placed in a unique environment that had never existed before.

Akai: “I enjoyed my work, but there was nothing I could get so absorbed in that I lost sight of my surroundings like I did when I was in college, and I spent my days feeling somewhat unsatisfied. There were a lot of restrictions in my time, and I spent a lot of time asking myself, ‘What can I do? It was under such circumstances that I had a lot of fun with cheerleading, which I hadn’t done in a long time!

We practiced hard and won the championship, and I realized that there is nothing more important than cheerleading to show the meaning of our existence, and that there is nothing anyone can’t do.”

“The people around us, such as colleagues and family, also support us. There’s absolutely no negativity.”

From this experience, they have set a mission to prove that anyone can become anything and are working towards a vision of becoming “Japan’s leading professional performance team.” 

However, as they began to take action, challenges arose that they hadn’t encountered during their student days.


Kambara: “For example, when we were students, we all participated in the activities four days a week, and we had regular performances to attend, so we could concentrate on practicing our performances for them. Besides, the ‘Shockers’ had become a brand, and things were going smoothly in many respects. But the Cheerleaders started with zero name recognition, so we needed to focus on something other than practice.”

Akai: “First of all, we had to secure a place to practice, get opportunities to perform, and develop a social networking strategy to increase our name recognition…there were a lot of things we had to do before we could start our activities.”

Practice sites vary from day to day, including civic gymnasiums and university gymnasiums in the suburbs of Tokyo. We are always looking for places to practice.

Kambara: “That’s why we became aware that we had to manage the team ourselves, and I think that’s why each of us was able to contribute to the team with the skills and specialties that we had acquired since we started working. Compared to my university days, I think we have become much more powerful in terms of team management.”

Akai: “At the moment, we have six departments, including the External Relations Department, SNS Department, and Corporate Department, each of which has online meetings on weekday evenings to discuss their respective tasks. At the same time, each of us also does muscle training and individual practice, and then we have a general practice session on weekends.”

It is also interesting to learn about unexpected aspects of our members, such as how they conduct meetings and how they take minutes.

Kambara: “Since the beginning of this year, I have appeared on TV, been selected for a web commercial, and my activities have expanded. There are so many things I want to do, and I’m just trying to keep up with it all. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun and I feel fulfilled.”

Akai: “However, I don’t think it is right to neglect work for the sake of cheerleading. For us, I believe that being a businessman has a lot to do with the meaning of existence and goals of the cheerleaders, so the first priority of the entire team is our main job.”


Dreaming Big: Appearing on America’s Got Talent

Every day, I ride a crowded train to work. They work hard as a cog in the wheel of society, but they can always be replaced. Even in such a situation, he says, “If you go full throttle toward your goal, there is no reason why you can’t achieve it.”

Kambara: “Because we are active businessmen and were saved by cheerleading, I believe we can push people who have similar problems.”

Akai: “Cheerleading has three aspects: ‘cheering,’ ‘competition,’ and ‘entertainment.’ What we are aiming for is a team that combines ‘cheering’ and ‘entertainment. We are not a typical cheer team, but a performance team with a broader meaning.”

Dynamic performances and suits give them a mysterious charm.

The Cheerleaders’ biggest challenge right now is their ability to express themselves. All members have a foundation from their college days, so they do not have to worry about their acting, but they laugh, “We are worried about our other performances.”


Kambara: “In the future, I would like to incorporate parkour-like movements, and I personally am thinking of going to dance lessons, which I am not very good at (laughs). If we work hard as individuals in this way and eliminate our weaknesses one by one, I think we can definitely become a performance team that represents Japan.”

Akai: “As proof that we have achieved this, we are aiming to perform in America’s Got Talent next year. But before that, I would like to appear in the Kohaku at the end of this year (laughs). All the members love Sambo Master, so it would be my dream to collaborate with him someday!”

Kambara “Before that, I would like you to come see our solo performance in June. Seeing them live is totally different from seeing them in the media or on SNS in terms of power, atmosphere, and the feelings they deliver. Please come and experience the cheerleading performance that only we can deliver.”

Our value lies in the fact that we are able to balance work with cheerleading.
The first half of the day is spent in practice clothes, while the second half is spent in suits. The suits are Uniqlo’s inspiring pants and jackets.
Each team takes a video to check how well they performed.
Finally, video is taken for social networking posts, etc. After editing, it is uploaded on Sunday night

■For information on the “Cheerleaders” solo performances, click here.

  • Interview and text by Motoko Abekawa

    Motoko Abegawa is a freelance writer mainly for the Web. She is also involved in the production of books and corporate PR magazines. She does not specialize in any particular field, but covers a wide range of topics that intrigue her, including history, comedy, health, beauty, travel, gourmet food, and nursing care.

  • PHOTO Kenji Kawato

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