This is a fun, effective example of integrated / co-marketing done right. Grantland is ESPN's new sports and pop-culture media hub (led by Bill Simmons). To simply sum up Grantland: it is a robust blog with great daily content and it is ad-supported - but the ads are premium (1-2 per page and from just a handful of key sponsors).
This is a little different though. Grantland's header usually features key articles... and one of those is currently an article written by "Kenny Powers" (a fictional star of HBO's popular sports show Eastward Bound and Down). - It of course is eye catching: the Grantland audience will recognize Kenny Powers and be interested in the article - It is relevant: the Grantland audience is an HBO / Kenny Powers audience - It's integrated & clever: Kenny Powers wrote something on Grantland? Much more interesting than an 250x250 ad unit - It's timely: the new season starts next week