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University announces new partnership with Nissan to explore what makes football exciting for fans

Loughborough University has announced a new partnership with Nissan, the official global automotive sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, to launch the very first Nissan Excitement Index.

A team of scientists from Loughborough will be working with Nissan to analyse physiological and contextual data from live ‘excitement experiments’, conducted on football fans at UEFA Champions League matches across Europe, to determine levels of excitement when watching the game.

In the build up to this year’s Champions League Final in Milan, the Nissan Excitement Index aims to explore and understand the science behind football fan excitement, and uncover some of the factors which make up an exciting football match.

Experts at the University will analyse a combined index of data, including heart rate, breathing rate and electrodermal activity, in order to establish some of the elements that make for an exciting fan experience.

The research follows a survey of over 5,000 Europeans who voted watching football as the activity that gets them most excited.

Dr Dale Esliger, from Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, part of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine East Midlands, said: “Every football supporter across Europe probably has a sense of what makes a UEFA Champions League match exciting – star players, goals, big saves or penalties.

“What we plan to do here at the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, is use our expertise in sport and physiological sensors to help quantify the physiological responses of football supporters to these key time points during matches.  Data from such sensors will help us determine some of the key ingredients that make an exciting match.”

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Vice President for Marketing at Nissan Europe, comments: “Excitement is at the heart of everything we do at Nissan, which is one of the main reasons we are proud to sponsor the most exciting football tournament in the world, the UEFA Champions League.

“Using data initially collated at UEFA Champions League matches during the Round of 16 knockout stage, Nissan and Loughborough will develop a scientific formula that demonstrates key elements that make for the most exciting type of football match. The research will then continue right through until the end of the season, culminating at the most exciting game of all – the Champions League Final in Milan.

“To date no one has found the scientific formula for excitement, and we want to lead the way into exploring and understanding this, starting with football fans. By partnering with the experts at Loughborough University we hope to find out what gets football fans most excited and use this intel to facilitate the most thrilling experience possible through our sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League.”