Nissan scientists crack code for exciting football

WITH the UEFA Champions League finalists now determined, Nissan, the Official Global Automotive Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, has revealed the scientific formula for excitement in football.

In partnership with sports science experts at Loughborough University, the Nissan Excitement Index utilises data gathered through physiological reactions of football fans watching UEFA Champions League matches. Based on these reactions, a formula – the Nissan Excitement Index – has been developed.

Nissan and Loughborough University have been conducting live ‘excitement experiments’ on pairs of football fans in the stands during six UEFA Champions League matches. Fans were fitted with wearable technology to monitor and gather a combined index of data, including: heart rate, breathing rate and electro-dermal activity, in order to examine the physiological effect excitement has on them. Loughborough University combined this data with official match statistics from Opta in order to develop the formula at the heart of the Nissan Excitement Index.

“Excitement is at the heart of everything we do at Nissan,” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Vice President for Marketing at Nissan Europe. “Our iconic GT-R super car and sponsorship of the exciting UEFA Champions League, are just two examples of how we strive to bring innovation and excitement to everyone,” he continued. “Whilst we will carry on exploring the science behind football thrills with Loughborough University, Nissan is also committed to exploring excitement further, whether that’s through the effects of  our cars or our other partnerships in sports.”


The football based formula measures all key elements that go into making an exciting football game including number of goals scored, time of goals and cards shown.


Scientific formula for an exciting football match =


Red = home Blue = away

G=  Goals scored

Y= Yellow Cards

R= Red Cards

S = Presence of Star players

C = Stadium Capacity

MA = Match Attendance

TG = Time of goals

R = UEFA team ranking

H=home team

A=Away team


N.B.H=Home team, A=Away team


The data showed participants’ average heart rate reached a peak 122 bpm during exciting moments in the match, which is comparable to the peak heart rates found in scientific studies of couples having sex. This comes as a recent Nissan survey* showed fans admit to finding football more exciting than having sex or spending time with their partner. The highest peak heart rate monitored during a home team goal was 154bpm, when Paris Saint Germain scored against Chelsea.

The research also shows a spike of excitement when a yellow card was given to a player on the home team – in some cases provoking an increase in heart rate by more than 30bpm – compared with their opponents.

Commenting on the research, Dr Dale Esliger from Loughborough University said: “Our team at Loughborough University have spent the last few years developing world-leading scientific expertise in wearable/digital technologies applications in health and human performance. With Nissan, we have the opportunity to apply these innovative sensing or measurement in the realm of sports entertainment.

“Where we once subjectively judged how exciting a football match was using our ‘gut feeling’ we can now use this methodology to objectively quantify the excitement of fans second by second throughout an entire match. Combining all of this innovative sensor data allowed us to engineer the Nissan Excitement Index that can now be used to rank the top UEFA Champions League football matches.

“In the future this type of research could also be extended into other areas of excitement, such as the physical responses which come from driving a thrilling super car like the Nissan GT-R.”

During this season’s UEFA Champions League Final in Milan, Nissan are creating an exciting experience for football fans allowing them to experience the thrill of driving the new 2017 Nissan GT-R through the streets of Milan, culminating at the iconic San Siro stadium, via a virtual reality experience in partnership with another official sponsor Sony PlayStation. Follow the excitement in Milan via #GetMilanExcited.

Nissan Excitement Index Formula_Infographic 040516

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