The global GFNY sports franchise, headquartered in the United States, has a problem at home, the inability of the brand with bright fluorescent green jerseys to attract riders.

While the GFNY franchise (parent organization) sees nothing but green, franchisees (local event organizers) see red – the red of financial loss.

Some franchisee’s, who pay upwards of $25,000 to host a GFNY branded gran fondo, have little to show for their investment and little reason to return, like the two American franchisees who joined the series in 2022 that are conspicuously missing from GFNY’s 2023 schedule after having dismal results.

GFNY Waco, Texas on 26 June 2022 offered gran fondo riders two laps on a 35 mile loop in the Texas Hill Country. Results show only 92 riders completing the $200 USD entry fee ride. Similar Texas based events saw much higher turnouts. Just a few weeks before on 4 June the Possum Pedal gran fondo, $40 entry fee, had over 400 riders vying for $15,000 in prizes. While in April the well-known Tour de France L’Etape franchise attracted 2400 riders to L’Etape San Antonio, even as a first year event with a $200 entry fee.

Faring even worse, GFNY Ann Arbor, Michigan on 12 June 2022 had just 69 riders listed in the results for the 100-mile event, also with a $200 entry fee. One week earlier the $50 entry fee Cherry Roubaix gran fondo, organized by Benzie Sunrise Rotary, attracted over 350 riders, including many racing for Michigan State Champion titles.

In 2019 and 2021 GFNY Santa Fe, New Mexico suffered the same fate, too few participants, to justify a third money loosing edition.

Next year two rookie GFNY franchisees hope to not repeat the results of Waco, Ann Arbor and Santa Fe, expecting the brand to attract significantly more riders at GFNY Rockford, Illinois and the just announced GFNY Maryland.

Though, both events will encounter stiff competition from regional gran fondos with proven track records of success. GFNY Rockford on 6 August is hoping for at least 750 participants and to sell over 1000 room-nights, but is bookended by the hugely popular Tri-State Tour offering two 100-mile rides on 16 July and 26 August at a fraction of the price. GFNY Maryland on 1 October, which expects a very optimistic 1000-1500 participants, is up against the USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championships organized by the Gran Fondo National Series on 17 September.

More details on GFNY’s franchised events around the world can be found HERE.

Photos: Twitter まーちん