Nissan gets excited for start of UCL, Brits get excited for Leicester City

September 13 – UEFA Champions League sponsor Nissan have released their second annual Nissan Excitement Index for the start of group matches this week. The research finds that in Britain, Leicester City’s debut tomorrow in Brugges is the most anticipated ahead of this season’s group stage start (58%).

That makes Leicester’s start more attractive to British fans than Tottenham Hotspur’s return to Champions League football (36%) or Pep Guardiola’s opening gambits at Manchester City.

Further, the research finds “Britons also revealed that for the upcoming season the three teams they are most excited to see play are Leicester City FC (52%), FC Barcelona (42%) and Arsenal FC (37%).”

Nissan surveyed of over 5,024 European consumers in August 2016, a repeat of the exercise carried out in February, to come up with their findings.

The headline finding of the 2015/16 Nissan Excitement Index was “that Britons get more excited about football than sex – with 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.”

British commitment to football over family is still a strong theme with three out of four Britons admitted they would miss a major life commitment if they had tickets to a Champions League match. “Top examples include, missing a work day, with over half of Brits (55%) confessing this. Whilst one in four admit they would miss an important meeting (27%), and one in 10 would miss the birth of their child (10),” according to the research.

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Vice President for Marketing, Nissan Europe said: “Throughout the coming months our aim is continuing fueling football fan excitement in a truly innovative way via our partnership with Loughborough University. In addition to the work we have done on excitement in football, we’re also keen to look at excitement off the pitch, related to some of the new Nissan models we are launching this year. In addition we’ll also be adding new ‘engineers of excitement’ to our team and continuing to use innovative social media platforms to engage with fans.”

Other findings for the latest research show:

– When asked to choose the three players who they thought were the most exciting from last season’s UEFA Champions league, Brits chose Cristiano Ronaldo (52%), Lionel Messi (49%) and Gareth Bale (47%). 2016 has seen a decline in excitement for Lionel Messi – the UK favourite in 2015 with 64% agreeing – in place of Cristiano Ronaldo.

– The summer transfers that get the UK excited are Andre Gomes from Valencia to Barcelona (49%); Alvaro Morato from Juventus to Real Madrid (42%); Renato Sanches from Benfica to Bayern Munich (35%) and Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli to Juventus (35%).

– There is a lower level of excitement when it comes to hearing the UEFA Champions League theme for the first time (33%) and Real Madrid’s first game as defending champions (32%).

– In the upcoming season, the three teams that Britons are most excited to see play are Leicester City (52%), FC Barcelona (42%) and Arsenal FC (37%).

– This is true regardless of gender, but when it comes to age, 18-34 year olds are more excited about Arsenal FC and FC Barcelona than they are for Leicester City, while those aged 35+ are most excited about Leicester City.

– The general consensus among Britons is that FC Barcelona will take home the UEFA Champions League trophy away from their rivals Real Madrid this season (29%).

– When asked which three stadiums they would be most excited to visit, the majority of Britons chose Camp Nou (57%), followed by Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (32%) and Juventus Stadium (30%).

– Brits don’t see travelling as hampering their football spirit: 23% will travel more than 100 miles for a home fixture and 38% will go the same distance for an away match. They usually drive – 53% take the car to home games, and 47% away.

– When they watch at home, the majority of Britons shout at the TV (77%). Women (81%) shout more than men (74%).

– Professional footballer falls into the top three most exciting jobs – after astronaut (37%). Professional footballer (36%) and racing driver (36%) tie for second.

– Their team winning the UEFA Champions League falls into the top three most exciting life moments at 33% – following the birth of their child (67%) and their wedding day (57%), but well ahead of Christmas day (19%), graduating from university (17%), and their birthday (13%).

– How much does the UK love football? On average, one in four parents would actually consider naming a child after their favourite footballer – increasing to half of all 25-34 year old parents.

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