A&E Network Lets the Creative Dogs Out

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A&E Network is unleashing creative ideas to promote upcoming reality series Dog the Bounty Hunter.

The series, premiering on Aug. 31 at 10 p.m. with back-to-back episodes, trails Dog Chapman, who has captured more than 6,000 fugitives around the globe.

In what network officials believe to be a sponsorship first, Chapman’s show is backing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s concert tour, covering 53 dates from July into October.

Just when the lights go down, “Gone Fishin,” an animated video clip featuring the voices of Chapman and Skynyrd members Gary Rossington, Johnny Van Zant, Billy Powell and Ricky Medlocke, welcome the band onto the stage.

“We just felt Dog had the right personality to appeal to people in their 30s and 40s who are into rock 'n’ roll. We looked at all the summer tours [for sponsorship opportunities] and we thought Lynyrd Skynyrd was the right fit because Dog likes the band,” A&E senior VP of marketing Artie Scheff said.

Chapman’s Denver office is dubbed “Free as a Bird Bail Bonds.”

Chapman and co-star Beth Smith are doing their part to get up close with concertgoers, including MSO affiliates, engaging in meet-and-greets at various tour stops.

Show ads will appear in 485 health clubs in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Bar and restaurant patrons in L.A. and the Big Apple won’t be able to evade Chapman’s gaze either.

“He won’t take any of your crap,” ads in bathroom stalls proclaim. Signs above urinals say: “Unlike you, he never misses.”

Said Scheff, “This is a little edgier that what we’ve done at A&E.”

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