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News > Football & Fast Cars to Measure Excitement?!

The UEFA Champions League season on the horizon, and one of the league’s biggest sponsors have decided to put human excitement to the test. Nissan has decided to test whether the thrill of football is more exciting than being a passenger in the iconic GT-R supercar. Volunteers were fitted with state-of-the-art sensors during crunch UEFA Champions League matches and then while being driven at 250km/h around the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium by professional drivers in a GT-R.

The data was used to ultimately determine which activity is more exciting.


Physical response

UEFA Champions League football matches

GT-R track day

Average Heart Rate Increase



Average Heart Rate

91 BPM


Average Peak Heart   Rate



Average Breathing Rate   Increase



Average Breathing Rate

15 breaths per min

15 breaths per min

Average Peak Breathing Rate

35 breaths per min

35 breaths per min

After comparing the findings from the two sets of experiments, Dr. Dale Esliger from Loughborough University commented: “Previously we would have subjectively judged how exciting a crunch football fixture or being a passenger in a thrilling super car, like the Nissan GT-R, would be. The research conducted as part of the Nissan Excitement Index has allowed us to use innovative sensor data to understand the participants’ physical reaction to these exciting moments and thus make suggestions on what elements might be the most exciting.”

At the start the two sets of parameters were quite comparable as the peaks of excitement increased as expected – when a goal was scored or when they drove tightly around corners. But the physical changes they saw between the sets were quite different says Esliger, “During the football matches we saw breathing rate increasing followed by a reduction in breathing rate, as fans held their breath during key moments of anticipation, thus demonstrating their excitement journey across the course of 90 minutes is more of a rollercoaster of emotions. Whilst for the GT-R passengers breathing rate consistently increases, suggesting a more sustained feeling of excitement.”

Jean-Pierre Direnez, VP of Marketing for Nissan Europe states that Nissan’s sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League matched with the iconic Nissan GT-R supercar, shows the world that Nissan is at the forefront of excitement and innovation…“Excitement is at the heart of everything we do”, says Jean-Pierre Diernaz.

Watch the UEFA Champions League vs. Nissan GT-R Excitement Video Below:

Throughout the build up to the most exciting Football game of the year, the UEFA Champions League Final, Nissan will be in the thick of the action. As well as working alongside their global ambassador and UEFA Champions League finalist Gareth Bale, Nissan will also be delivering the UEFA Champions League trophy to the Principality Stadium. Follow all of the action on the Nissan Excitement FC Facebook page and share your own journey in the build-up using the hashtag #TooExcitedTo.

The Incomparable Nissan GT-R

The 2017 Nissan GT-R’s award winning 3.8 litre V6 24-valve twin-turbocharged engine has increased by 20 hp compared to the previous model. It now delivers 419kW at 6800 rpm, due - in part - to an increase in boost pressure and an ignition-timing system controlled at each individual cylinder. These changes improved acceleration in the mid-range (3200 rpm and above) with maximum torque output available across a wider range of the powerband. The GT-R tone has also been upgraded, with an engine that has never sounded better.

Nissan Legacy in Sport

Nissan has shown a massive dedication and growth in global sport including: cricket events, the Canadian Football League, the Heisman Trust and Heisman Trophy, and the City Football Group - which includes the Manchester City, Melbourne City and New York City clubs. Furthermore, Nissan’s NCAA partnership in the US is the widest-reaching sponsorship in the history of collegiate sports - backing 100 colleges and universities, as well as select NCAA Championships - covering 22 sports. Nissan also has a number of sporting ambassadors, including footballers Gareth Bale, Sergio Agüero and Andrés Iniesta.

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