Nissan has put football to the ultimate test, ahead of the UEFA Champions League final, by assessing whether the thrill of the game is more exciting than being a passenger in the iconic Nissan GT-R supercar.
In partnership with sports science experts at Loughborough University, Nissan fitted participants with wearable technology to monitor and gather a combined index of data.
This included heart rate, breathing rate and electro-dermal activity, in order to examine the physiological effect excitement has, and ultimately determine which activity is more exciting.
Live match experiments took place during crunch UEFA Champions League fixtures and were compared to the reactions of passengers raced around by professional drivers in a new Nissan GT-R at the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
When comparing the findings from the two sets of experiments, Dr. Dale Esliger from Loughborough University said: “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.
Throughout the two sets of experiments the heart rates of football fans and Nissan GT-R passengers were broadly comparable, with them increasing at peak moments as you would expect – such as when a goal was scored or driving round a tight corner.
The main differences we saw were the physiological responses of the passengers and football supporters breathing rates. 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.”
In comparison, at a UEFA Champions League football match, the average heart rate increase was 39%, the average heart rate was 91 BPM, the average peak heart rate was 124 BPM and the average breathing rate increase was 144%
On the GT-R track day, the average heart rate increase was 37%, the average heart rate was 100 BPM, the average peak heart rate was 136 BPM and the average breathing rate increase was 140%.
Interestingly, both experiences recorded an average breathing rate of 15 breaths per minute, and an average peak breathing rate of 35 breaths per minute.
Jean-Pierre Vice President for Marketing at Nissan Europe said: “Excitement is at the heart of everything we do. 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. Now, through our partnership with Loughborough University we have been able to understand the physical effect excitement has on the human body. Our ultimate aim is to develop a global Excitement Index, across a whole range of exciting activities – the possibilities of where we might go next are endless.”