Watching football better than family time

BRITS get more excited about watching football than spending time with their family or their partner, according to a study commissioned by Nissan as part of the Nissan Excitement Index.

More than half (56%) of Brits say watching football is the moment or activity that gets them most excited week-to-week or month-to-month, ahead of having sex, a day out with family or spending time with their partner.

Brits also deemed their favourite football club as more exciting than their job – when asked to rate the two aspects of their lives they found most exciting, nearly one in three (30%) chose their football club, compared to less than one in five (16%) who chose their job.

In order to understand the science behind what makes football so exciting, Nissan: the official global automotive sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, has announced they are partnering with sports science experts Loughborough University to develop the first ever Nissan Excitement Index.

The Nissan Excitement Index aims to explore and understand the science behind fan excitement, with live ‘excitement experiments’ on real pairs of football fans during UEFA Champions League games, and determine a scientific formula that demonstrates some of the key elements which make for the most exciting type of football match.

The research also identified that over half (58%) of Brits see the UEFA Champions League final as the sporting event they most look forward to every year. In fact, nearly one-quarter (23%) keep the Champions League final free in their diary each year.

And nearly one-quarter (22%) of Brits think Leicester City is more exciting to watch than Spanish giants Atlético Madrid, and last season’s UEFA Champions League finalists Juventus. But Brits admitted, the three most exciting players to watch are FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Summary of results:

  • Brits get more excited about watching football than they do about having sex
    • More than half (56%) of Brits say watching football is the moment or activity that gets them excited week-to-week or month-to-month, ahead of having a day out with family (51%), having sex (48%) and finding a great deal (45%)
    • In fact, in an average week Brits spend more than an hour’s worth of their time watching football than they do having sex (3.5 hours versus 2.1 hours)
      • Interestingly, while they spend more time each week with their partner (20.1 hours) or pursuing a personal passion / hobby (5.3 hours) they don’t rate this time to be as exciting as football—less than half of Brits describe these activities as exciting
    • British men (67%) are much more likely than British women (46%) to get excited about watching football; men (57%) are also much more excited about having sex than are women (39%)
      • In fact, if given just an hour’s worth of time to spend doing something exciting, 30% of British men say they would spend the time watching football, which is on par with those men who would spend that time with partner (32%)
    • What gets British women excited: having a day out with their family (61%), finding a great deal (49%) and a night out with friends (46%)
  • Brits agree—their favourite football club is more exciting than their job
    • When asked to rate the two aspects of their lives they found most exciting, nearly one in three (30%) chose their football club compared to less than one in five (16%) who chose their job. In fact, more Brits put their football club in their top-two than did their sex life (28%)
    • Men (37%) are most likely to rate their favourite football club as one of the top-two exciting aspects of their lives (versus 23% of women)
  • It’s official: Europe’s most exciting teams and players reside in La Liga
    • Brits believe the most exciting football teams to watch are FC Barcelona (60%), Real Madrid (54%) and Arsenal (29%)
    • The three most exciting players to watch are Lionel Messi (64%), Cristiano Ronaldo (47%), and Luis Suárez (25%)


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