TIAA, Azzi Fudd and Curry Brand Collab on Custom Sneakers to Spotlight 30% Retirement Income Gap Between Men and Women

Select pairs will be sold on 50th Anniversary of Title IX June 23; All proceeds benefit The Equity Project™, powered by the Women’s Sports Foundation

NEW YORK – June 23, 2022 – TIAA is once again working alongside top athletes to spotlight the startling reality that women have an average of 30 percentless retirement income than men. Today the company announced a collaboration with UConn Huskies Guard Azzi Fudd, the top-ranked basketball recruit in 2021, and Curry Brand, Stephen Curry’s bespoke apparel and footwear line produced by Under Armour. The parties have collaborated to debut nine one-of-a-kind, hand-painted #RetireInequality sneakers. The sneakers were custom designed by David “DEZ” Zambrano and Moe of Creative Custom Kicks and symbolize the progress that has been made over the past 50 years since the passing of Title IX legislation and all of the work that still needs to be done.

Three pairs of the sneakers will be sold through NTWRK on June 23-24 – the anniversary of the passage of Title IX – with all proceeds benefiting The Equity Project™, powered by the Women’s Sports Foundation.

 “On average, women still earn just 82 centsii on the dollar and retire with 30 percent less income compared to men – a gap that the pandemic has exacerbated,” said Stephen Tisdalle, TIAA’s Chief Brand and Demand Generation Officer. “We launched the #RetireInequality campaignOpens in a new window during March Madness this year to celebrate the advances made and to raise awareness of gender wage and retirement gaps. The collaboration with these all-star athletes and designers further helps tell that story in an effort to advance the pace of progress for women and society overall.”

TIAA launched its #RetireInequality campaign in March 2022, aligned to Women’s History Month and just ahead of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark law that drove equity in education and opened the doors of college sports for women. The campaign brought together some of the most influential players and coaches in the NCAA and WNBA – women who have played pivotal roles in stamping out inequities in the sports arena – to bring awareness and educate others about why the fight to retire inequality still matters.

As a #RetireInequality campaign ambassador, Azzi Fudd became passionate about encouraging young women, particularly athletes, to take hold of their financial futures, and was eager to team up with TIAA and Curry Brand for this collaboration. As part of the collaboration, Azzi will also gift pairs of the sneakers to women she finds personally inspiring, including TIAA CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett and her parents.

"This partnership with TIAA and Curry Brand is a really special one for me,” said Azzi Fudd. “I am proud to have helped design these incredible shoes that pay homage to the women who have paved the way for gender equality, while spreading awareness around the retirement income gap for athletes and women across the board."

“Azzi Fudd is the best choice to start a brand relationship like this because she is the next face of women’s basketball and has been a part of SC30 Inc. and the Curry Brand family since she was an invitee to the All-American Camp,” said Stephen Curry.

To hear inspirational stories, join the conversation, and learn how you can help, please visit: in a new window

About TIAA

TIAA is a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people and thousands of institutions. It is the #1 not-for-profit retirement market provider1, paid more than $6.4 billion in lifetime income to retired clients in 2021 and has $1.3 trillion in assets under management (as of 3/31/2022)2.

About The Equity Project™ & The Women’s Sports Foundation

TIAA Powered by Women’s Sports Foundation (founded by Billie Jean King), The Equity Project™Opens in a new window is a movement of individuals and organizations that aims to impact participation, policy, representation and leadership in sports in sustainable and measurable ways.

The Women’s Sports Foundation exists to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. We are an ally, an advocate and a catalyst. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we strengthen and expand participation and leadership opportunities through our research, advocacy, community programming and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. From its inception to Title IX’s 50th anniversary in 2022, WSF has invested over $100 million in these impact efforts, helping to shape the lives of millions of youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes, elite athletes and coaches. We’re building a future where every girl and woman can #KeepPlaying and unlock the lifelong benefits of sport participation. All girls. All women. All sports ®. To learn more about the Women’s Sports Foundation, please visit in a new window

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Press contact

Elizabeth Anderson
Media@TIAA.orgOpens Email

i The Mercer 2021 Global Pension Index estimates a 33.7% pension gap for women in the US – that is women have 33.7% less pension income than men. Global Pension Index Report, 2021.

ii Women earn roughly 82 cents for every $1 men earn on average. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, 2021. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1 As of Dec. 31, 2020. Based on data in PLANSPONSOR's 403(b) Market Survey, which published in August 2021.

2 As of March 31, 2022 assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investment management teams are $1,321 billion.

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA, distributes securities products. Annuity contracts and certificates are issued by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) and College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF), New York, NY. Each is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. 

Investment, insurance and annuity products are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed, are not deposits, are not insured by any federal government agency, are not a condition to any banking service or activity, and may lose value.

©2022 Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund, 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017