Four Manchester City players have experienced the Dream Job Swap, becoming racing drivers for a day and being tutored by some of Nissan's best GT Academy drivers. David Silva, Bacary Sagna, Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala got behind the wheel of Nissan's Juke NISMO RS and took to the track with professional motorsport drivers Jann Mardenborough, Miguel Faisca, Ricardo Sanchez, Lucas Ordóñez for a car control session.
The job swap concept was inspired by a Nissan-commissioned study that found that nearly a third of nine to 13-year olds believe that footballers and racing drivers have the most exciting careers in the world. Youngsters are clearly dreaming of following in Silva’s footsteps, with nearly a quarter (22%) admitting that becoming a footballer would be their ultimate dream job.
Driving was very much on the children’s radar too, with 64% of the 1,000 respondents highlighting learning to drive as their most exhilarating future milestone.
Nissan racing driver, Jann Mardenborough, is the perfect reflection of these childhood hopes and dreams – the Cardiff-born 24-year old had the enviable choice of choosing a career in football or motorsport. As a teenager, he was signed to Cardiff City FC’s junior squad but, thanks to Nissan’s pioneering GT Academy programme transforming gamers from arm chair racers to aspirational track professionals - opted for life in the fast lane instead.
City’s household names found themselves in the fast lane too, as the four first team players went head-to-head at “Manchester City Race Way” on the Etihad Campus.
Following a few spins, stalls and false starts, Fernando and Mangala came through the semi-finals in Nissan’s on-track competition, with Mangala taking the trophy in a hard-fought final.
Nissan Motors GB Marketing Director Chris Marsh, added: “Through our partnership with Manchester City Football Club, we’ve been able to bring to life some of the ultimate passions of our fans – football and driving.
“Being able to make some of the country’s most celebrated talent accessible to our fans through this activity is what makes this partnership so exciting. Seeing the reaction from the players and drivers experiencing the dream job swap has been fantastic and we hope to get a similar reaction from viewers!”
The Nissan Juke NISMO RS used in the driving elements of the Dream Job Swap is the hot, performance version of Nissan’s popular crossover model. The car marries the rich racetrack heritage of the enigmatic NISMO brand with impressive performance credentials, aggressive styling and optimum handling characteristics.
Portuguese Faisca won the football tests, under the watchful eye and tuition of City coaches and City Legend, Paul Dickov, which involved a speed, dribbling and shooting contest.