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Nissan Discovers What Makes Soccer Fans Tick

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Excitement Index Formula

As the Official Global Automotive Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, Nissan knows a lot about soccer fans. While it’s usually very clear which team an individual supports, thanks to brightly colored shirts or scarves, it’s less clear what exactly makes fans excited for a soccer game. Nissan turned to Loughborough University for help, and its researchers developed what is being called the “Excitement Index Formula”.

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The formula was created by Loughborough University’s team of sports science researchers by watching sports fans in the stands of six different UEFA games. Participating pairs of fans wore technology to measure things like heart rate, electro-dermal activity (readings tell scientists if someone is sweating), and breathing rate to determine excitement as the game wore on. Excitement readings were especially analyzed around important events in the match, such as penalty cards and goals scored.

The data collected showed that heart rate spiked during exciting moments of a match, especially when a yellow card is given to a player on the home team, free kicks are taken, and, of course, when goals are scored.

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Dr. Dale Eslinger from Loughborough University said “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.”

Take a look at the complete findings that helped researchers develop the Excitement Index Formula in the infographic below.

Excitement Index Formula

The Nissan GT-R has recently been redesigned for the 2017 model year, but it sounds as if research from Loughborough University could help the car become even more exciting.