Los Angeles, CA-The day after the announced 2-year ban by the International Tennis Federation for the use of the banned substance Meldonium Maria Sharapova announces strategic partnership with

“We are pleased to announce Maria Sharapova as brand ambassador for Zip It dot com.  We believe we will be a real asset to each other over the next 2 years and beyond,” announced V/P of Marketing Jared Miller.

A curious marketing alignment raised eyebrows in the tennis community as Zip-It  provides organic solutions for loud noises such as screaming and grunting along with it’s lifestyle services.  Long term twitter fan @MagnesiumForehand wondered: “Is this for her on court grunting?”

“As her attorney and our upcoming appeal with the Court of Arbitration of Sport I couldn’t be more pleased because the less she says the better for our case,” said her lawyer John Haggerty.

Empathetic fans have also come to her defense and have been sending support to her management team at the IMG headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. “We have received much adoration from fans with gifts and advice.  Maria is very grateful for the outreach and affection,” her management team said in a carefully worded statement using double and triple spell check.

UPS and Fed Ex packages have been streaming into the offices and published on social media.  Some of the gifts included a electronic calendar with special grunt sounding notification for important dates such as Jan 1, 2016.  Some of the other gifts include high magnesium super foods including raw spinach, kale, soy beans and South American avocados and a dozen Thesauruses’.

Although Meldonium, also known as Mildronate, has no known scientific evidence to help low magnesium or diabetic sufferers sales have spiked in Moscow since her announcement as 27 Russian athletes from various sports have been suspended since the beginning of the year.

Just as Maria was ready to speak up about the benefits of placebo effect in using banned substances a helpful member of her team member stepped in to stop her.

Written by:

Brian Lutz / “Come Play In My Group Tennis Lessons


Your John Hancock just got less important.  

American retailers are in catch up mode to become compliant with their merchant credit card processing from “swipe and sign” to “chip and pin”. Why the switch? And how does your club or pro shop reach compliance against fraud with as little headache as possible?


First the bad news, the compliance deadline was Oct 1, 2015.  In theory, if fraud happens on the machine in your tennis club without being compliant the bank will hold the merchant (club / pro shop) liable for the mess. If you are compliant, as before, the bank will handle the fraud and refunds to the affected parties.  Naturally, as a club or pro shop operator you don’t want that new burden.


The good news is there are a lot of benefits and upside to becoming compliant while upgrading your merchant processing ecosystem that will save you money and potentially increase your cash flow depending how savvy you want to be.

Here are 6 tips to assessing and upgrading your merchant processing:

1. Contact or find a sales rep to help you understand your merchant status and form a game plan to become compliant.

2. See if you can find a processor that offer next day deposits to help your cash flow.  Most offer two days, but next day deposits are possible to find.

3. Upgrade to a chip reader with ‘chip and pin’ and traditional ‘sign and swipe’ feature to make sure your business is compliant and you can offer both services to your customers.

4. Make it easy for people to give you money. Upgrade to Mobile Cloud based Point of Sale (POS) systems.  As consumers become more comfortable with paying on their mobile device, a “frictionless experience” makes life more efficient for you and your customers.  Business owners can now conduct admin tasks anywhere outside the office with or without internet access and track daily or weekly sales.

5. Marketing Power:  A lot of companies now offer small businesses the ability to collect data to acquire and retain new customers within their payment gateway.  This is a great way to increase your brand exposure without major advertising cost.

6. Integrate Quickbooks with your payment processing gateway so bookkeeping is in sync and up to date for internal reports and the tax man.

SUMMARY calculated banks paid off $6 billion dollars in POS sale fraud in 2013 so they are motivated to lower this liability and want merchant and retails stores to be compliant.

Grab a hold of your last month’s statement and find a sales rep to help you assess your merchant solutions and most importantly reach compliance.

Written by:

Brian Lutz / “Come Play In My Group Tennis Lessons