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Washington Mutual Goes International for All-Star Game
SEATTLE, Jul 3, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Major League Baseball's 2001 All-Star Game has a decidedly international feel this year -- and a Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) billboard will contribute to the worldwide flavor.

On Thursday, July 5, Washington Mutual will unveil its latest billboard, which reads "Welcome All-Stars," outside Safeco Field. Nothing unusual there -- except it's written in Japanese.

"We want to welcome the Japanese players and celebrate how this year's game represents baseball's international rosters," says Mike Milligan, manager of corporate advertising for Washington Mutual.

The All-Star Game in Seattle marks the first time that Internet voting from across the world is included in the tally. And five million of the 72 million paper ballots were sent to Japan this year, helping make Seattle Mariners rookie Ichiro Suzuki the top vote-getter.

In addition, relief pitcher Kazuhiro Sasaki -- who like Suzuki starred in Japan before joining the Mariners -- is among the All Stars.

The game, aired by Fox at 5 p.m. PST on Tuesday, July 10, will also be broadcast live in Japan, as are all Mariners games. It will also air live in Puerto Rico and in countries where baseball is popular, including the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Venezuela.

WaMu's billboard, in addition to exposure to players and fans, could also be seen by thousands of people expected to attend the John Hancock All-Star FanFest, which begins Friday, July 6 and continues through Tuesday, July 10. It will be held at the Stadium Exhibition Center, located across the street from Safeco Field.

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CONTACT:          Washington Mutual    
                  Sheri Pollock, 206/377-2138