BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Dakota Lithium, a U.S. battery manufacturer founded in 2008 and the Official Lithium Battery of Bassmaster, has expanded its partnership with B.A.S.S. and will serve as the title sponsor for the hotly contested Bassmaster Rookie of the Year award through 2025.
“Powering the future of fishing, one battery at a time,” said Craig Storms, Dakota Lithium national sales representative and pro staff manager. “Dakota Lithium is a proud sponsor of Bassmaster’s Rookie of the Year race, where the best and brightest anglers rise to the top, just like our high-performance lithium batteries.”
The 2023 Elite Series rookie class is already making a huge impact. In just the second event of the season, Joey Cifuentes III took home a win on Lake Seminole, while the other rookies have already amassed 10 Top 20 finishes. After four events, Bryant Smith of Roseville, Calif., leads the Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year standings with 300 points, but he holds just a one-point advantage over David Gaston of Sylacauga, Ala.
Along with the coveted Rookie of the Year title, the winner will take home a $10,000 prize.
“We’re excited that Dakota Lithium has decided to encourage and reward up-and-coming anglers on the Bassmaster Elite Series by sponsoring Rookie of the Year,” said Lisa Talmadge, Bassmaster Elite Series tournament director. “The 11 rookies who qualified for the Bassmaster Elite Series this year are incredibly strong and include veteran Opens competitors, a highly decorated and successful college angler, celebrated international competitors and even a former Bassmaster Junior champion.”
Earlier this year, Dakota Lithium signed a three-year sponsorship deal for the Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year award. In addition to entitling the Kayak Series Angler of the Year and Elite Series Rookie of the Year points races, Dakota Lithium also serves as a premier sponsor of the six-circuit Bassmaster Tournament Trail and iconic Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic.