As of a few minutes ago, 95,408 people have joined the Facebook Group “People Against the Sears Tower Name Change.” I wonder why this issue has struck such a raw nerve?
Because people have such a strong affection for Sears? (Doubt it.) Because few people in the U.S. have heard of Willis? (That’s part of it, probably.) Because Willis is based in the U.K.? (Now you’re getting to the heart of the matter, I bet.)
As one commenter noted: “Where does it end? How much of America, its traditions and heritage are we gonna sell, rent or give away before we realize that we are wrong for not valuing them way they should be?”
The sentiment is understandable. But the trend is inevitable. Perhaps all 95,000+ Anti-Willis Facebookers now understand how people from other countries feel when their traditions—not just their office buildings—are reshaped by American companies or culture.
Guess what, folks: We gotta’ get used to it. Globalism works both ways. What amazes me more: Why didn’t anyone bid more than Willis for the naming rights? Would people feel differently, for instance, if the building were renamed the Accenture Tower?