This is a story on ESPN.com about a Heisman marketing campaign launched by Northwestern on behalf of quarterback Dan Persa. The school has purchased billboard space not in Times Square but in Bristol, Conn., near ESPN headquarters. "Northwestern," writes ESPN's Adam Rittenberg on ESPN.com, "is hoping to put Persa's name on the radar for my ESPN colleagues, who help shape opinion and hype for national awards." Rittenberg notes that the campaign is called "PersaStrong," a reference to Persa's appearance on a list of the nation's strongest college football players, as judged by ESPN's Bruce Feldman. Even if Persa doesn't have much of a shot, ESPN's Rittenberg writes, it's a good thing that Northwestern is trying to "generate more buzz," presumably in media outlets like ESPN.
So ESPN is covering an advertising campaign that appeals directly to the authority of ESPN's coverage to convince ESPN to cover the advertising campaign.
(Full disclosure: I edited Rittenberg back in our college days. At Northwestern.)